It’s been a while since Los Banos High lost a league tennis match. In fact, you’d have to go back to before the Tigers joined the Western Athletic Conference four years ago – the Tigers’ win streak in the WAC hit 42 with Tuesday’s 9-0 win over Livingston at LBHS.
“It means an awful lot, especially for these girls that are seniors, my top five girls,” LB coach Lynn Barcellos said. “They’ve been playing since their freshman year, and they definitely want to go out without ever losing in league. It’s a huge accomplishment. I don’t know any other sport that has... 42-0 is a huge accomplishment.”
The Livingston win completed the Tigers’ first trip through league play, leaving the Tigers with a 10-3 record (6-0 in league play). LB’s three losses all came at the Fresno Tournament. Livingston managed to take just six games off of the Tigers, with No. 1 player Nicole Marchese, No. 4 player Monique Arretche, No. 6 player Taylor Harris and the No. 1 doubles team of Amanda Marchese and Marelee Garcia all winning their matches 6-0, 6-0.
Barcellos said the team’s success has a lot to do with the fact that most of her players are multi-sport athletes, which gives them a leg up when it comes to mastering the footwork and other skills. Seven of the starting 12 either play basketball or have played during their high school careers, and another handful play softball.
“The athletic ability helps them pick up the skills,” Barcellos said. “There’s other teams that look better than them, and you can tell they’ve taken lots of lessons and they have this perfect stroke, but my girls beat them out with athletic ability and mental ability. They can make up for that in other areas.”
Now the Tigers prepare for another turn through league, and they have their eyes set on their goal and targets on their backs.
“I never count anything out, because everybody is gunning for us,” Barcellos said. “I know the one that’s really gunning for us is Central Catholic. I never count anything before. I just want them to stay focused.”