The Del Norte girls tennis team improved to 4-0 on Friday with an impressive 9-0 sweep of North Coast Preparatory Academy on Thursday in Crescent City.
“We were pleased that we won the match,” said Del Norte head coach Samuel Escobar. “Over this last week we worked more on strategy with the girls and going beyond just striking the ball correctly. Although most of the scores weren’t that close, they were able to execute some of the strategy that we worked on.”
Escbar said the gist of the new strategy is to focus on putting the ball in a difficult spot for their opponent to return.
“We were happy when they attempted to do it,” Escobar said. “Even though their shots didn’t always go in it was good to see them attempt a shot that was going to put their opponent in a tough position to return it, or trying to put the ball away.”
The Warriors swept through the singles play with Bailee Drown winning the No. 1 match 6-0, 6-4; Jasmine Pearson winning the No. 2 match 6-4, 6-1 after falling behind early; Castley Thao winning No. 3 singles 6-0, 6-0 and Diana Loban winning No. 4 singles 6-1, 6-1.
Danika Scott and Aliyah Rafalowski swept the No. 5 and No. 6 singles matches respectively, by a score of 8-0. Both girls also teamed up for an 8-0 sweep in the No. 3 doubles match to go a perfect 16-0 through the meet.
Escobar said he was particularly impressed with the Warriors top doubles team of Drown and Loban, who swept their opponents 8-0.
“It was good to see their level of enthusiasm, the communication that was taking place when they were out there, their shot selection and then their execution of it,” Escobar said of the No. 1 doubles.
Thao and Loban teamed up for an 8-1 victory in the No. 2 doubles match.
Although the Warriors were able to beat North Coast Prep handily this time around, Escobar said it is a match that his team looks forward to every season.
“I have always been impressed with North Coast Prep, not with how skilled they are but with the type of game that they play,” Escobar said. “They play a smart game and that is due to the coach (Michael Bazemore) and the skills that he teaches them. They are always good sports, so we have always enjoyed playing against them.”
Del Norte will be back in action on Saturday resuming its meet against Fortuna at 10 a.m. The Warriors’ meet against the Huskies started on September 2 but was called off after about an hour due to poor air quality.