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Sunnyside Grizzlies lose to West Valley

WEST VALLEY - The Sunnyside High School tennis teams may have lost to West Valley Tuesday afternoon, but the overall match scores don't reflect how close each of the individual matches actually were. The Grizzlies fought hard against the Rams, but in the end West Valley came out on top.

The Sunnyside boys team lost to West Valley 4-1, while the girls found themselves winless against the Rams, losing 5-0.

Scoring the only win of the afternoon for Sunnyside was the No. 1 doubles team of Johnny and Danny Plesha. The Plesha brothers defeated West Valley's Torrey Brantner and A.J. Collinsworth 5-7, 7-6 (7-3) 6-2.

"That was a battle of a match," said Sunnyside Coach Troy Whittle. He added that in the second set the Pleshas were down 5-2 against the West Valley team, and ended up coming back to win it all.

"They fought back," Whittle said of the Pleshas. "It was good to see them pull that out."

In the No. 1 singles spot, Jonathan Beals lost to West Valley's Greg Merrell 6-1, 7-5.

Whittle said Beals didn't play very well during the first set, but was ahead at one point during the second set.

Sunnyside High School junior Jesus Alquicira was in the No. 2 singles spot for the Grizzlies, losing 6-1, 6-2 to the Rams' Clay Burke. Whittle said in this match, Burke ended up being the more consistent tennis player.

Playing No. 2 doubles was the team of Jake Wavrin and Tyler Thompson, who lost to Nathan Woods and David Hahn of West Valley 6-4, 6-3.

In the No. 3 doubles spot, Sunnyside's Hunter Van de Graaf and Justin Snyder lost to Kurt Liebrecht and Matt Gailan 7-6 (9-7), 6-0.

"They were very competitive during the first set," Whittle said of the Sunnyside team. He added that the young team didn't seem to be making the transitions necessary to stay in the match during the second set.

As for the girls, playing for Sunnyside in the No. 1 singles spot was senior Dolores Gomez, who lost to Brooke Foster 6-1, 6-0.

Whittle said Gomez hit fine against Foster, who went to State last year. He noted that Foster just happened to play a more consistent game of tennis.

Playing No. 2 singles was Victoria Garza, who lost to West Valley's Kristi Moore 6-4, 7-5.

In this match, Whittle said it was just the little mistakes that hurt Garza.

Playing No. 1 doubles for Sunnyside was the team of Lizeth Chiprez and Erica Mendez. The two Grizzlies lost to West Valley's Heather Hickman and Jayme Gilmore 6-4, 1-6, 6-2.

Whittle said the team was a little rusty against the Rams, noting that this was Chiprez's first match back after spending a couple of weeks out of town.

"This was one that could have gone either way," Whittle said of the outcome of the match.

The No. 2 doubles team of Lanna Pangle and Jerika Martinez lost to Sarah Cooper and Natalie Delo 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.

Whittle said this was one of the longest matches he has ever witnessed as a high school tennis coach, noting that the match went on for nearly four hours.

"It seemed like we were the better team," Whittle said. He added that double faults hurt the Grizzlies in this match.

Playing No. 3 doubles for the Grizzlies was the team of Jessica Gudino and Andrea Oesterle, who lost to Corinne Hawn and Amanda Booth 6-1, 6-2.

"We just got beat," Whittle said. "They were just a better team."

Whittle said he hopes his teams will rebound from their last two losses, noting that he is looking for continued improvement in his players.

"I'd like to see them get into the flow a little more," Whittle said.

The Grizzlies will take to the court again this Thursday in a league match against Prosser.

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