PASCO – The Grizzly tennis squads had a tough outing in Pasco this past Saturday, with both squads dropping 6-1 decisions to the Bulldogs.
However, Sunnyside Assistant Coach Mike Thorpe said the Grizzlies put in solid efforts and improved during their matches.
Winning for the Sunnyside boys squad was Nathan “Iceman” Laverman, who took down Bulldog Jose Verduzzo in back-to-back 6-3 sets in No. 2 singles play.
“Nathan is a very consistent player and never lets anything get to him,” said Thorpe. “He is the kind of guy players don’t like to face because he rarely makes mistakes.”
Sunnyside’s No. 1 player, Alexis Osuna, lost another tough match in three sets. He took the first set 6-3, only to lose the final two by 6-4 scores to Pasco’s Reyes Gonzalez.
“The last two matches Alexis played were some of the best tennis I have seen him play,” said Thorpe. “He fights hard and deals with the ups and downs of a long tennis match. Alexis is a very good player and things should start to fall into place for him this year.”
At No. 3 singles, Grizzly Zach Halma lost 6-0, 6-1 to Pasco’s Jesse Trejho. Sunnyside No. 4 singles player Trajen Frank lost 6-0, 6-2 to Bulldog Jacob Sandaval.
In doubles play, Sunnyside’s No. 1 team of Isaiah Lyczewski and Felix Garcia lost 6-3, 6-0 to Pasco. Both the No. 2 (Chris Martin and Michael Yan) and No. 3 (Alex Rodriguez and Christian Murphy) doubles teams for Sunnyside lost in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4.
“They played better throughout the match but couldn’t overcome after getting behind,” said Thorpe. “Both teams learned from this match and know what they need to work on to improve.”
The No. 2 girls singles player for Sunnyside was also the only winner for her squad. Lady Grizzly Elexis Lepe beat Pasco’s Tatum Buckenberger.
“Elexis played with great consistency and shot placement in her 6-2, 6-2 win over Pasco,” said Thorpe. “She is getting better with every match and is constantly improving her game.”
Thorpe said Sunnyside’s other singles players all improved throughout their matches, but came up short.
Sunnyside’s Roxy Plancarte dropped straight sets to Bulldog Eden Snider at No. 1 singles, 6-1, 6-0. At No. 3 singles, Lady Grizzly Jazmine Lopez lost a pair of 6-2 sets to Pasco’s Bella Chavez. And at No. 4 singles, Angelica Ceja also lost 6-0, 6-2.
The Lady Grizzly doubles teams all lost in straight sets, but Thorpe said all of them showed improvement during their matches.
“They all played better as the match went on which is a good sign when league play starts in a few weeks,” he said.
The No. 1 Lady Grizzly team of Mattie Meyers and Carla Rodriguez lost 6-1, 6-4. Sydnee Hernandez and Karinna Mendoza, Sunnyside’s No. 2 team, lost 6-0, 6-3. The No. 3 team of Stephanie Herrera and Mirella Ramirez lost 7-5, 6-1.
“One of this year’s surprises is the No. 3 doubles team, who are two freshmen,” said Thorpe. “They beat out a few returning players to earn the spot. Their last two matches were close losses. I see a big upside with these two young players.”
The Sunnyside tennis squad will visit Chiawana this coming Saturday to try to improve on their winless record.