Santa Ynez received one more stout challenge before the Los Padres League boys tennis tournament in the form of an improved Lompoc High team.

The Pirates, though, withstood the Braves’ well-rounded doubles team and took eight of nine singles matches to win 14-4 at home on April 26.

It was the final regular season contests for both teams as the focus now shifts to the LPL tournament, which begins next Thursday and continues to Friday.

And for SYHS boys tennis head coach Steve Gunning, he’s hoping his team can maintain both focus and enthusiasm – as the chase for individual and team championships now begin.

“I just think we need to keep a positive attitude and try to get better, plus stay mentally strong,” Gunning said after the match. “It’s the time of year when some kids start to say they’re tired of this, especially the seniors. So hopefully, we can stay focused and keep our enthusiasm up.”

Under slightly breezy conditions, the Pirates started fast on the singles side by collecting six victories there in a span of one hour. No. 1 Braxton Johnson and No. 3 Kyle Wilczak helped lead the early charge. Both solo players swept all three of their sets – with Johnson posting two 6-0 scores.

Santa Ynez’s No. 2 singles option Darren Dankins went two for three, winning his sets 7-5 and 6-3. Gunning was left impressed – but said the Braves provided a tougher challenge with two players on a single court.

“Our singles players did really well. Braxton and Kyle went 3-0 and Darren was 2-1. But I thought Lompoc, especially its doubles team, was really improved. Those kids did a really nice job. Their doubles are solid,” Gunning said.

Lompoc’s doubles team has given the Braves the edge in some of their LPL wins. And the Braves managed to squeeze in three wins on that side of the tennis spectrum. The No. 1 team of Max Flores and Michael McGinty defeated Kurt Beehler and Owen Andersen 6-1 while the No. 2 team of Hunter Terrones/Ricardo Garay ousted two opponents by scores of 6-3 (versus Ryan Rennick and Cooper Owens) and 7-5 (against Robert Meyer and Max Porter).

Templeton 10, Cabrillo 8

The Conquistadores came close to pulling the upset against the always formidable Eagles – but fell by two at THS.

Anton Bohtig – Cabrillo’s No. 2 option all season long and a foreign exchange student from Germany – swept all three of his sets by scores of 6-4, 6-0 and 6-1. No. 1 option Cedric Kwon took two victories by the same score of 6-1.

Cabrillo wound up struggling on the doubles side – managing just two wins there as Jacob Maglinte and Marco Monroy and Brad Bleak and Eli Pellot picked up single victories.  

Cabrillo head coach David Riley said he praised the fight his team showed against the deep and talented Eagles.

“I’m proud of my team. They consistently play with integrity and work hard for every point,” Riley said. “Wish we could’ve pulled this one out but, unfortunately came up short.”

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