The Righetti Warriors improved their boys’ tennis record to 3-0 with a 15-3 victory over the Cabrillo Conquistadores in their annual non-league, preseason match Wednesday afternoon in Orcutt.
The final score doesn’t indicate just how competitive the match was.
In the match’s opening set, Righetti co-captain and No. 1 singles player Kalin Corral faced Cabrillo’s No. 1 Cedric Kwon.
Although Corral won the set 6-2, the win didn’t come easy.
The pair traded shot for shot, battling through several deuce games before Corral finally closed it out.
“I had trouble putting balls away,” said Kwon. “The last game went to 10 deuces.”
Two more sets went to tiebreakers.
Righetti’s Nick Brewer and Daniel Sheppard, playing at No. 2 doubles, had an epic set against Cabrillo’s No. 1 pair of Jacob McLinte and Brad Bleak.
The duos traded point after point in their tiebreaker until Sheppard sent a shot between McLinte and Bleak to with the set 7-6 and the tiebreak 12-10 win.
“I started to get nervous,” said Brewer. “I felt like I was struggling. Daniel and I said to each other ‘we’ve got to get this set.’ We just pulled through.”
“It was a great set. It took us a while to win it because they are such a good team,” said Sheppard. “We just have to keep working so we come out stronger in out next match.”
Noah Ortiz, Righetti’s No. 2 singles player, also went to a tie break against Kwon. Ortiz won the tiebreak 7-3.
“It liked the two sets that went to tiebreaks,” said Righetti assistant coach Matthew Sheppard, who was filling in for head coach Maddie Seeds. “Neither side gave up and went for the win.”
Ortiz had an easier time in his remaining sets, winning them both 6-0, 6-0.
The same was true for Corral who won his final two sets by 6-0, 6-0 scores and the Brewer/Sheppard duo which won its final sets 6-0, 6-1.
Playing at No. 3 doubles, Righetti’s Kush Patel and Jisoo Park swept their three sets, 6-2, 6-0, 6-2.
Kwon later came back to post a 6-0 win over Righetti’s other co-captain, Ryan McGinty, 6-0.
Cabrillo’s No. 2 singles Christian Barrick also battled to a 6-2 set win over McGinty.
“Christian really fought for that set win,” said Cabrillo head coach Dave Riley. “He’s been working hard. It was great to see him win that set. I think that will set him up nicely for our next match.”
McLinte and Bleak picked up the Conqs’ final set win, sweeping past Righetti’s No. 1s, Martin Mendoza and Tanner Poulis 6-0.
Cabrillo (0-3) has the rest of the week off before hosting Santa Maria in their Los Padres League opener next Tuesday.
“What we’ve been working on in practices is starting to come out in our game,” said Riley. “Their hard work in practice is starting to show up on the court. Overall, it was a pretty good day considering the final score.”
“The Cabrillo players showed some great sportsmanship. They were cheering for both sides,” said McGinty. “It was quite the occasion. It’s a shame we only get to play Cabrillo once a year.”
Righetti is hoping to open its PAC 8 League season Thursday with a home match against perennial league power Arroyo Grande. At press time, the match is still on the schedule but, with rain expected, there is a possibility the match will be postponed to a later date.
“It’s our third win of the season – a big improvement over last year when we only had one win. We’re improving and that’s what we like to see,” said Corral.
“We’re looking forward to playing the defending league champions in our first league match,” said McGinty. “We hope we can continue to improve on our scores from last year.”