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Tennis wins WSL title, forfeits championship

With one last forehand stroke, the boys’ tennis team ended their year with a perfect record in West Sierra League [WSL] play. Yet, due to an early graduation schedule and the senior class trip, the boys did not participate in the team tennis championships.

“I’m disappointed about not going to team playoffs,”” Brad Smittcamp, ’06, said. “However, we ended the year very well and had alot of un playing together.”

However, that disappointment did not seem to hinder senior Eric Neufeld from capturing the individual WSL title on May 8 at Clovis West. Neufeld won all four matches, the last two in tiebreakers.

“Eric and everyone else on the team have done a great job all season,” Jason Savage, ’07, said. “Eric played very well and fully deserved the victory.”

Neufeld played Firebaugh’s Javier Ramirez in the final. The victory was sweet and a little unexpected as Neufeld had lost to Ramirez twice during the regular season.

“”Javier is an excellent tennis player,”” Neufeld said. “”He is fast, has a consistent serve with spin and is strong. I charged the net throughout the match and forced him to play from the back to break his serve. I knew I had to play my best match to beat him.””

Despite an anticlimactic year, members of the tennis team are proud of their accomplishments.

“Most freshman are stuck at the No. 9 spot on the tennis team,” Aaron Ortiz, ’07, said. “I achieved No. 5 this year. I’m proud of my own accomplishments as well as the teams.”

Continuing the successful record next year will be a challenge with four seniors graduating and others thinking of not returning.

“I’m still contemplating wether or not to I’ll play tennis next year,” Ortiz said. “It’s hard work and requires a large committment”

Players agree the decision to return to the team next year will be a tough one.

“I’m still undecided about going out for the team next year,” Smittcamp said. “It depends who else tries out for it.”

For more information on the tennis team, call coach Rod Atchley at 297-9464, ext. 142.” “Bonna Rogers” “West Sierra League individual champion, junior Eric Neufeld beat Firebaugh’s Javier Ramirez in the final on May 8.” “” “” “Insert text here

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