The Panther tennis team continues to roll through the opposition. They started the season at a torrid pace winning their first two contests against Wasco and Mt. Whitney.
Over the leap year weekend they finished first in their pool, going 5-1 for the weekend and defeating playoff contenders Liberty of Bakersfield, Redwood, and Garces. “This was a great opportunity for the team to bond and for me to experiment with some different lineups” said Coach Pat McCusker. “The guys really came of age and stepped up to the challenge.”
Additionally -- Last weekend's competition was at the 96 team Clovis tournament. Teams came from all over the state as well as the central valley. (We beat Turlock and Madera in addition to those named and lost to Pitman, 2-4--they are a private school from the Turlock area.) We finished #1 in Division 3, Group 2. Results for Monache and Granite can be obtained on the tournament website, CHSTC.org
On Wednesday, March 5th they traveled to Reedley to take on the Pirates, the Panthers figured to face a pretty stiff test as Reedley plays in the ever tough County Metro Conference with Sanger and Bullard. Led by #1 singles Willy Woodmansee, the locals hung tough and pulled out all the close matches.
Woodmansee set the tone in prevailing 7-5, 7-5. #3 Nick Galusha also faced a test before prevailing in split sets 4-6, -6-4, 10-5. and #6 Jeremy Eggman came back from an early deficit: 3-6, 6-1, 10-5. Seniors Carlos Meraz at #2, Jade Perry at #4, and Brogan Nordness at #5 made it look a little easier and won in straight sets.
The bottom line was that the Panthers had already clinched the match by sweeping the singles before the doubles were even played! “This was a match that easily could have swung the wrong direction, but our guys showed a great deal of grace under pressure.”
This coming weekend the Panthers will compete in the Visalia Invitational against 24 teams. This will be a great chance to find out what we can do in a slightly different format. Some of our guys will get to compete as individuals against some of the Valley’s best—we’ll get an early look at what it takes to do well in the Valley tournament at the end of the season.
The Panthers now stand at 7-1 with the EYL opener against Tulare Western looming Monday, March 10—that match will be played at PHS at 4:00 pm. Come out and watch the kids compete!
Pat McCusker, Athletic Director | Porterville High | 559-793-3492