Tennis team focusing on little things

By David Witte / sports@losbanosenterprise.comSeptember 20, 2012 

Los Banos High's tennis team knew it had two matches this week it should win -- and the Tigers did, routing Ceres and Pacheco 9-0 on Tuesday and Wednesday.

But it was the little things that coach Lynn Barcellos said will take them deep into the section playoffs again.

"The doubles need to stay focused out there, and keep doing the things we need to do," Barcellos said.

"Like when they're playing a really strong doubles team, practicing their volleys, practicing their positioning. Positioning's big. Doubles do a lot of strategy."

During the sweep over cross-town rival Pacheco on Wednesday, the Tigers won by a cumulative points total of 108-6, with singles Alexis Barcellos, Christina Soares, Nicole Marchese and Jacquelin Arretche all sweeping their opponents. The No. 1 doubles team of Monique Arretche and Bianca Soares also swept their opponents.

Three of Pacheco's games came from the No. 3 doubles team of Ruth Ramirez and Kayla Ayala.

"I told them, 'It's not a prize fight. Just go out there and swing away, trust your stroke,' " Pacheco coach John Betham said. "But a lot of it's on the other side of the net -- they're going to cause a lot of errors with their shots."

The day before, Alexis Barcellos announced her intention to repeat as the Western Athletic Conference's individual champion when she beat Ceres' Marifer Ochoa 6-3, 6-3. Barcellos and Ochoa met in the WAC title match the past two years, with Ochoa taking the title two years ago and Barcellos winning last year.

"That was huge. Especially being there," Lynn Barcellos said. "Playing on their court is so hard -- they have football players watching, the band going, they have all these guys playing around the courts, and they put bleachers right by the court. So it was good that she stayed focused."

With LB 12-0 overall and 5-0 in WAC play, the Tigers are looking toward the section playoffs. The biggest news on that front is that the Sierra Foothill League -- which houses teams such as Granite Bay and Del Oro, the two Division II finalists in 2011 -- has been bumped to Division I. Another SFL team, Rocklin, knocked Los Banos out of the quarterfinals last year.

"We are trying to stay focused right now towards sections," Lynn Barcellos said. "They want to get farther than we did last year, which was quarters. That's all they talk about, actually. They really want to focus on sections."

Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at sports@losbanosenterprise.com

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