The Mingus Union High School boys tennis team has removed any pressure it might have felt for the 2017 season by matching its win total from 2016, winning its season opener against Moon Valley High School, 6-3, on Thursday, Feb. 23.
Senior Alex Flannery, the Marauders’ No. 1 player, had a hand in two of the six team points by winning his singles matchup in overpowering fashion, 6-0, 6-0, and pairing with Caleb Wylie to win their doubles match, 8-3.
“We got a team win and that’s huge for us getting through the rest of the season,” Mingus head coach Larry Lineberry said. “Everything else is gravy the rest of the season.”
Two of the regular top six players were unavailable to play, but the Marauders [1-0] were matched up with an inexperienced Rockets team in its own right.
“They were an inexperienced team also, I thought we had a chance when I saw them warm up,” Lineberry said. “But we still had to win the matches.”
The Marauders’ bottom two players won two of them: John Valentine, who won 6-2, 6-0, and Jordan Finger, winning 6-4, 6-2.
“I was very impressed with our five and six players [Valentine and Finger],” Lineberry said. “They got big wins for us.”
Finger and Crue Taylor combined for the team’s other doubles victory while Prince Setsaegnsri also picked up a singles win: 6-2, 6-4.
“I’ve got young kids who are as excited as can be,” Lineberry said. “And I’m excited for them.”
Flannery highlighted a consistent serve and improved net game from a year ago that helped carry him to a win in which he did not drop a single game.
His successful partnership with White, according to Flannery, came from teamwork and communication. Overall, the win was huge for the Marauders’ mentality going forward.
“I think everyone is optimistic, this was a very good start,” Flannery said. “We can only but improve from here.”
The team played at Sunrise Mountain High School on Tuesday, Feb. 28, but results were unavailable at press time. It next takes the court at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, March 2, when it hosts Agua Fria High School.