Most Viewed Stories
Cibola's No. 1 injury leads to San Luis' only point
The San Luis girls tennis team salvaged a single point in its 8-1 loss to Cibola Thursday, but the circumstances were far from routine.
Cibola No. 1 Ajitha Doniparthi had won her first set against San Luis No. 1 Yaretzi Virgen 6-1, and had Virgen on the ropes in the second set 5-1. Doniparthi was up in the game 30-15, just two points away from sealing the victory.
But in the middle of the next point the wind blew a rogue tennis ball back into the court. Doniparthi stepped on the ball, rolled her ankle and fell to the ground.
“We warn the kids in practice,” Cibola coach Cam Cong said. “They are trained and reminded to never play with a ball on the court.”
After a few minutes Doniparthi was driven away in the trainer's cart, leaving the coaches to decide the fate of the match.
Initially, San Luis coach Julissa Hutchinson decided to secede the match, but after calling the Yuma Tennis Association the coaches decided to play it by the book.
“If it's a point we're going to get, at least it's something we won,” Hutchinson said. “It's better than nothing. It puts somewhat of a smile on their faces.”
Hutchinson, a former Sidewinder tennis player, is in her first year of coaching at San Luis.
“It's so nerve racking,” Hutchinson said. “You coach kids and you coach them to do things and they do it in practice, but in the games they freeze and forget everything. A lot of them are new, some of there are first years.”
Ajitha Doniparthi's injury not only affected the singles side, but the doubles side as well. Ajitha Doniparthi usually plays No. 1 doubles with her sister Amrutha Doniparthi, but Cong decided that instead of mixing up partners, he'd bump up Leslie Cruz-Rivera and Shelby Chambless into the No. 1 spot.
“Our top four girls are all right there,” Cong said. “Any one of them could be in that No. 1 position. It's early in the season, so that might not be our final lineup.”
Cruz-Rivera and Chambless had little trouble handling Virgen and Ana Hernandez, defeating them 8-1.
“We're solid, that's the best word for it,” Cong said. “We're a solid team one through six. Obviously in the sixth position you aren't going to be as good as one, but for a freshman (Sarah Haws) going to win most of her matches. Our No. 5 isn't great but (Kim Harris) is a solid player and she's going to get us quite a few wins.”
Cong said Ajitha Doniparthi's ankle injury was not too severe and hopes to have her available next week, but said he's not going to push her since it's so early in the season.
Cibola has three matches next week, starting off with Lake Havasu at home on Monday, Kofa at home Tuesday and then the Raiders travel to Gila Ridge on Friday.
Both of San Luis' matches are on the road next week facing Gila Ridge on Tuesday and Kofa on Friday.