By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
SEBASTOPOL — Analy’s boys tennis team is still unbeaten, but the Tigers got a scare Thursday from visiting El Molino.
Playing their best match of the season, the Lions hung with Analy until the end before losing, 4-3.
On paper, it looked like it would be an easy win for the Tigers. They were 10-0 while El Molino came to town sporting a 2-4 record.
Analy, stacked with quality singles players, was able to win only two of the four positions. The Tigers eked out the victory by winning two of the three doubles matches.
Nick Wight, the top singles player in the SCL, got Analy off to an early lead with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Sawyer Chesnut-Pinto.
“Moving my feet is the key for me,” Wight said. “When I do that consistently, I play well.
“We had some good rallies and by keeping active on my feet, I was able to get shots that moved my opponent around the court.”
Wight played No. 2 for the Tigers the past two years and has moved to the top spot as a junior.
“The biggest improvement for me is in my mental game,” he said. “I don’t have highs and lows. I just focus on getting the next point.”
Like his teammate, No. 3 Derek Sevillo is also unbeaten this season. He took care of El Molino’s Arlo David, 6-2, 6-0.
“This was definitely one of the best matches I’ve played,” he said. “My serve was exceptional and my forehand and slice were also working.”
Winning singles match for the Lions were Andes Toruno and Casey Bauer.
Playing No. 2, Toruno didn’t get a game in the first set but came back to win the match over Aidan Toner Rogers, 0-6, 6-3, 6-1.
“After the first set, I was thinking I was going to lose the match pretty quick,” Toruno said. “Then, I got a few points early in the second set and my confidence went up.
“I started hitting the ball back and waiting for my opponent to make an error.”
Casey Bauer’s win at No. 4 was the most exciting match of the day. It took nearly three hours for him to defeat Michael Grieve. The scores were 6-7, 6-3 and 7-6.
The score in the third set tiebreaker was 7-4.
“Michael and I have been best friends since we were in kindergarten,” Bauer said. “So, this was one I really wanted to win
“I was pretty tired in the third set and just concentrated on slowing things down. I was a little shaky when we went to the tiebreaker but I didn’t let it affect my strokes.”
The winning doubles teams for Analy were Greg Gonzales and Nate Ortega at No. 2 and Vicente Carreras and Noah Peake at No. 3. El Molino’s duo of Cade Stan and Prince Buttar prevailed in the No. 1 slot.