A 9-0 victory over Pacheco on Tuesday pushed Los Banos tennis’ league winning streak to 47 matches.
The Tigers’ 11-0 record and Central Catholic’s 9-2 made Thursday’s match against Livingston (results were unavailable at press time) meaningless as far as the league title, with LB’s third title in a row.
None of the matches against Pacheco went to a third set, with the Panthers taking just 14 games through the nine matches. LB’s Nicole Marchese won 6-0, 6-0, Jacquelin Arretche won 6-0, 6-1, Monique Arretche won 6-1, 6-1, Bianca Soares won 6-0, 6-0 and Taylor Harris won 6-1, 6-1. The No. 3 singles match between LB’s Elena Erreca and Pacheco’s Kristen Palmer was the closes, with Erreca winning 6-2, 7-5.
LB swept the doubles matches 6-1, 6-0; 6-0, 6-0; and 6-1, 6-0.
Los Banos, as the league champion, takes three singles players to Tuesday’s WAC singles tournament and three doubles teams to Thursday’s league doubles tournament. The singles tournament should come down to three players – Ceres’ Marifer Ochoa, who won league as a freshman and lost in the championship to LB’s Alexis Barcellos the last two years, is expected to be the top seed. Behind her is LB’s Marchese, who was 9-2 in league heading into Thursday’s match, and Central Catholic’s Peyton Kelley.
Marchese and Kelley split their matches this year.
“She played pretty much the same way, she was just a little steadier,” Los Banos coach Lynn Barcellos said. “Peyton likes it when the ball is hit hard, so I told Nicole to not do that, make her wait and get frustrated. Nicole was ahead in the third set the first match, but she hit her knee against a pole going for a ball and it swelled up. And that’s her game is her movement.”
The other two Tigers will be No. 2 singles player Arretche and No. 3 singles player Erreca.
“I think they’ll do well too. They’re stronger than a lot of the other girls in there,” Barcellos said. “It will just depend who they get matched up against, because after the first four seeds they draw names out of a hat.”