PASCO - The Sunnyside High School girls doubles tennis squads came alive this past Friday against the Chiawana Riverhawks.
That's according to Sunnyside Coach David Downing, who was impressed his girls doubles pairs each won matches.
Although the SHS girls tennis team lost the match overall, Downing said the doubles teams regained confidence and that led to three wins out of the seven girls matches.
The Grizzly boys, on the other hand, had a singles and a doubles win.
"It was a beautiful day for tennis," said Downing.
Emily Meyer and Jessie Robert of the Lady Grizzlies were the first to earn a victory on the day. The No. 1 duo defeated Lupe Salgado and Roanna Stapleton of the Riverhawks after battling through three sets. The first set went to the Chiawana team 6-1. Meyer and Robert dug in and won the second and third sets by identical 6-3 scores.
Meanwhile, No. 2 doubles players Jill Spini and Ashley Marquez of Sunnyside took to the court against Emily Vaughn and Josefina Velasquez. The Sunnyside duo quickly dispatched the Riverhawks 6-0 in the first set. The Chiawana girls didn't get much more traction, falling to Spini and Marquez 6-4 in the second set.
In No. 3 doubles play, the Riverhawks had hopes of securing a victory, but Sunnyside's Lydia Robert and Adilene Torres dispelled that notion. The Lady Grizzlies battled for a 6-4 win in the first set, lost the second set 6-0, but fought back for a 6-3 victory in the final set.
The Lady Grizzly singles players weren't as successful Friday. All four players suffered losses to the Riverhawks.
Christine Kim (No. 1) and Kassie Ortega (No. 2) of Sunnyside each fell in identical 6-0 sets to Devyn Johnsen and Kaytlin Nelson, respectively.
Sonia Romero was defeated in identical 6-2 sets by Chiawana's Jessica Moss in No. 3 play; and Perla Alcantar suffered a 6-1, 6-3 defeat to Ashley Good of the Riverhawks in No. 4 action.
Downing said the experience playing against Good was invaluable for Alcantar. "(Alcantar) started coming on in the second set," he said.
Downing said he believes his teams are building confidence and having fun. Both, he believes, are important tools for victories.
For the boys, he was just as excited by the victories of No. 4 singles player Jaime Garcia and No. 3 doubles teammates Zach Halma and Jacob Martin.
"Garcia outplayed his opponent (Nick Martin of Chiawana) from the beginning and didn't let up at all," said Downing.
Garcia earned a 6-1, 6-0 decision over Martin.
Sunnyside's Halma and Martin had a small battle at the net, but dispatched Riverhawks No. 3 doubles players Erick Rios and Alan Cruz in identical 6-3 sets.
Sunnyside No. 1 singles player Scott Laverman is still hunting for his first victory. He lost Friday's match to Chiawana's Jason Toyoda 6-0, 6-1.
In No. 2 singles action, Jose Mendoza of the Riverhawks handed Sunnyside's Javier Aguilar a 6-0, 6-0 defeat; and Anthony Salcedo of the Grizzlies suffered a 6-2, 6-1 loss to Chiawana's Jim Sturtevant in No. 3 singles play.
Sunnyside No. 1 doubles teammates George Noyola and Uriel Osuna fell 6-4, 6-3 to Riverhawks Howard Durrant and Eric Garcia; and in No. 2 doubles action, Ricky Rada and Eduardo Arzate of Chiawana defeated Iran Brambila and Ricardo Sanchez with a tie-breaker in the second set. The score was 6-2, 7-6(8-6).
"This match was the best match we have played so far...things are really looking up, and the kids are playing with a determined purpose," said Downing.
Sunnyside will next host Pasco on Thursday, April 14.