LB Tennis opens with 9-0 sweep

By David Witte / sports@losbanosenterprise.comAugust 30, 2012 

The Los Banos High tennis team feels that this is the year -- and after a 9-0 sweep of Atwater on Tuesday, it's tough to argue.

But then, LB tennis considers every year their year.

"We felt last year we were going to go deep into the playoffs too," said junior Nicole Marchese, the team's No. 2 singles player. "But each year is pretty strong, so any year can be a good year for us."

With four seniors -- Alexis Barcellos at No. 1 singles, Christina Soares at No. 3 singles, Tiffany Liu at No. 2 singles and Kelly Younce on the No. 2 doubles team -- the Tigers feel they're set up to be successful for years to come. But the focus is on making a deep playoff run this year.

"This is the year for us, because we have such strength from 1 all the way down," LB coach Lynn Barcellos said. "Unlike other teams where they have one or two good players and it kind of drops off, I have a good -- all the way to 12, 13, 14 on down the line that I can rely on. I have really strong seniors up at 1, but overall I think this is our year to do what we can do."

Los Banos will get a glimpse of what they can do at this weekend's Fresno Tournament, which attracts some of the top teams from several different sections. And this year, Barcellos said the Tigers will be bumped to a tougher bracket.

That's important to Barcellos, because LB won't see that caliber of team until the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs. In between, there are a few dates circled on the calendar.

"Central Catholic games are circles," Marchese said. "And for Alexis when we play Ceres, for Marifer."

Marifer Ochoa of Ceres has been Alexis Barcellos' only real challenge for dominance of the Western Athletic Conference, with each winning the league's individual title once in the last two years.

On Tuesday, Barcellos rolled in a 6-1, 6-0 win over Atwater's Roselena Duran. The rest of the squad rolled as well, with the Tigers outscoring Atwater 108-9 overall.

"The scrimmages and everything are a good start to the season," Marchese said. "It gives us some confidence in what we're doing."

Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at

Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at

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