The Del Norte boys tennis team wrapped up its regular season on Tuesday with a meet against Northcoast Prep. The Warriors had a strong showing against the second best team in the HDN with four matches decided by tiebreakers. Del Norte only managed to pull out a win in one of those close matches, however, falling 6-3 to Northcoast Prep.
Del Norte’s top two singles players struggled against Northcoast Prep, with Ricky Khilnani dropping the No. 1 singles match 6-0, 6-1 and Rylee Weaver falling 6-1, 6-2 in No. 2 singles.
Each of the No. 3 through No. 6 matches went down to the wire, however.
Junior Guillermo Buitrago was the only Warrior to pull out a win in his singles match, coming back from an early deficit for a 9-7 victory in the No. 6 singles match. It was Buitrago’s first ever win.
Xavier Young got off to a hot start in the No. 3 singles match, winning the first set 6-1, but dropped a pair of close matches 7-5 and 7-6 to close out the match.
“He won the first set pretty handily, then I think some of his conditioning came into play — I think he was running out of gas a little bit,” said Del Norte head coach Jim Holt. “But he made it a battle. It was 7-6 in the third, so you can’t ask for a closer match than that.”
John Xiong lost the first set of his No. 4 singles match 7-6, but he was able to tie the set back up with a 6-4 victory in the second set. Xiong ended up falling 6-3 in the rubber match.
Connor Long also pushed his No. 5 singles match into tiebreakers before ultimately falling 9-7.
“I was very proud of Connor today,” Holt said. “He played a very close match against a very good player.”
Although the Warriors lost a handful of close matches in singles, Del Norte bounced back with strong performances in doubles.
Young and Xiong teamed up for an 8-3 win in the No. 2 doubles match, while Long and Seth Lee pulled out an 8-3 victory in No. 3 doubles.
Khilnani and Weaver ended up falling 8-4 in the No. 1 doubles match, but both players looked better against their competition in doubles play.
With the regular season at an end, Del Norte is set to wrap up its postseason at the Humboldt-Del Norte League doubles championships on Friday in Crescent City.
The Warriors No. 1 and No. 2 doubles teams will open against Ferndale with the winner taking on No. 2 seeded Northcoast Prep. Del Norte’s No. 2 doubles team will open play against St. Bernard’s with the winner advancing to face top-seeded Arcata.
Tennis is scheduled to begin on Friday at 10 a.m.
Reach Michael Zogg at firstname.lastname@example.org .