Many of the Los Banos High tennis players remember their loss to Pacheco at the end of last season. Those players didn’t let it happen again in Wednesday’s 7-2 victory over the Panthers.
“Oh, they were looking forward to it a lot,” Los Banos coach Lynn Barcellos said. “I think that was the biggest thing, because the guys that are back with me that played last year, they’re the ones that remember. They were talking about it.”
It didn’t come quite as easy as the score suggests, though – Pacheco’s Chris Ballesteros took J.T. Barcellos to a third set at No. 1 singles, and the No. 3 doubles victory by Chris Lonetree and Jesse Hernandez went to tiebreakers in each set.
“Last year, he was the guy I looked up to on LB,” Ballesteros said about Barcellos. “I wanted to play like him, so being able to take one set off of him felt really good. Maybe my hard work isn’t going to waste. It was a big thing for me. The fact that I lost today doesn’t matter to me, it’s the fact that I was able to leave it all on the court.”
Pacheco’s two victories came courtesy of Isamel Orozco at No. 2 singles and Juan Baez at No. 3 singles, while LOs Banos’ Barcellos, Elias Navarro, Max Edinger and Steve Georgiou were all victorious in their singles matches. The Tigers swept the doubles matches.
“Every match they’re improving,” Pacheco coach Brett Mastaler said. “Even though we’ve lost some of them 9-0, a lot of them go to three sets, and their work ethic is really good, and that’s all I can ask for. They’re trying super hard, you know, running the stairs, doing the training, and the fundamentals are slowly getting there.”
Los Banos’ source of pride this week came from the No. 2 doubles team of Anthony Flores and Thomas King, who won their match against Ceres for the first point taken from Ceres this year.