The Yucaipa Boys season began with five new varsity starters. 0nly sophomore, singles player, Preston Chu returning to his same position on the team . As the preseason started the team had a lot of growing pains and a variety of lineup changes as the team was preparing for Citrus Belt League (CBL) play.
The team started out with losses to Beaumont 7-11 and Canyon Springs 6-12. The team was able to get a win with a 12-6 victory over Aquinas High School. Traveling to the Aquinas game as a team was a building block as the starters all took on different rolls in the match. It was a tough day for some players but everyone was supportive of each other and it changed the dynamics of the entire team.
The team began league play against the defending champions Redlands High School. The Yucaipa players put up a good fight and learned a lot about playing a top level team and how important it is to work together. The doubles team of Bret Thompson and Taku Gavaza played three close sets and ended up coming out on top in each of them. The result was a 3-0 day and positioned themselves as a top doubles team in the strong CBL.
The following week the team traveled to play at Citrus Valley for a match that was going to go along way in deciding who would make the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) playoffs and represent the CBL. In the first round the team finished with a 4-2 lead as singles player, Michael McWilliams pulled out a 6-4 victory.
The senior doubles team of Mark Bolender and Cole Lujan finished the day with a convincing win to start the match. They fought hard in the next two sets but, came up short losing 4-6 and 3-6. The sophomore doubles team of Josh Joseph and Tim Zebedaus finished the day 3-0 and continue to improve in every varsity set that they played. The duo are making a name for themselves and are continuing to learn how to play the pressure points as they won 7-6, 7-5, and 6-3.
In singles play senior, Aaron Song pulled out a big win in his second set beating the number two player from Citrus Valley with his consistent play throughout the match and stellar one handed backhand. Also, in singles Chu lost his first set in close fashion. However, with his overpowering serve was able to pull out a win in his second set to help lead the team to victory. The doubles team of Thompson and Gavaza dominated in each set and finished the day winning 6-0, 6-0 and 6-0 to seal the team victory. On the year, in league the team has not lost a set and overall has only lost 1 set on the season.
With the unfortunate events happening around the world and here locally it is unsure if the season will continue. CIF has not made a determination on how any of the spring sports will continue this season.
Coach Salinas said, “I just wanted to thank each of the boys on varsity as well as the junior varsity team for dedicating themselves this year to improve each and every day, so we can continue to grow and be successful on and off the tennis courts and in our community.”