Cibola sneaks past San Luis
As the sun set Thursday evening, Cibola girls tennis coach Cam Cong still didn't know if his team had secured their victory at San Luis.
It wasn't until the Raiders got a win from their No. 3 doubles team playing in increasing darkness that he could breath easy and Cibola came away with a 6-3 victory over the Sidewinders.
The Raiders (2-0) have now started off the season with close wins over Kofa and San Luis — the two teams that finished ahead of them a year ago.
“Mentally, this is huge for us. It's early still. We have to play these teams a few more times, but it showed the kids that they can get over the hump,” Cong said.
After singles play, Cibola held a 4-2 advantage. Ashreetha Murugesan defeated Cristina Piceno 6-1, 6-2 at No. 1; Shelby Chambless beat Audi Diaz 6-1, 6-2 at No. 2; Amrutha Doniparthi outlasted Karen Beltran 6-4, (5-7), 10-3 at No. 3 and Leslie Cruz-Rivera defeated Deliala Robles 6-3, 7-5 at No. 4.
The wins for the Sidewinders (0-1) came from No. 5 Gisel Duarte's 6-4, (3-6), 10-7 victory over Agitha Doniparthi and Celeste Ruiz beating Angie Chinchillas 6-2, 6-4 at No. 6.
Playing the back end of a doubleheader because Cibola's courts are being resurfaced, Cong and the Raiders had two opponents: the Sidewinders and a gradually setting sun. With Cong on the outside hoping the doubles matches wouldn't have to be rescheduled for another day, Cruz-Rivera and Chinchillas finished off an 8-6 victory to secure the win for the Raiders. The other doubles matches both ended by a margin of two sets.
“We're making strides to being tougher. Last year, we lost a lot of close matches. Last year, we probably would have lost this match,” Cong said.
For the Sidewinders, the loss was a matter of not being able to win some close matches — in both singles and doubles.
“I was happy with the effort of the girls and there were a lot of close matches we just couldn't get,” San Luis coach Nick Bray said.
Considering the match that secure the win came from the Raiders No. 3 doubles team, it showed the importance of the entire lineup.
“Our team knows that wherever you are, you're expected to do your job. Whether it's winning at six or winning at one, it still counts as a win,” Cong said.