It was a cold and blustery in Solano County last Wednesday when the mighty CIF SJS Division 4 Mountain House High boys tennis team, winner of last year's D4 sectional title, traveled north to Fairfield to take on the powerful Mustangs of D3 Rodriguez High in a non-league match.
The Rodriguez Mustangs, led by one of the top players in the section, senior Evan Wadsworth, were a semi-final team in last year's D2 sectional playoffs.
The match started promptly around 3 p.m. and all six singles matches were competitive at the start.
Mountain House scored the first win when Rodriguez No. 6 Justin Wei forfeited to Mustangs’ Dhruv Jena down 1-6, 0-2 due to a leg injury. The Mustangs secured their second win when Western Athletic Conference (WAC) singles champion Eidan Mercado defeated a feisty Rodriguez freshman Joshua Williams 6-2, 6-1 at No. 3.
Rodriguez scored their first win when Wadsworth defeated sophomore Aadi Rajan at No. 1 singles 6-1, 6-2. The next point went to Mountain House when senior Pranav Sundar won his match 7-5, 6-0 at No. 4 singles, overcoming some early jitters.
Junior Zuhair Mughal played a very tough opponent at No. 5 singles, losing 4-6, 5-7 despite an early lead in the second set.
The final singles match between Mustangs’ No. 2 Daniel Zhang and Rodriguez’s Danton Hsueh was an epic match which Zhang won 6-4, 6-3 (and was awarded player of the match by head coach Andy Su), giving Mountain House a 4-2 lead after singles.
All three doubles matches were fierce battles and Rodriguez No. 1 drew first blood by beating the Mountain House team of Andy Su Jr. and Charan Battula 6-4, 6-4.
While the Mustangs’ No. 2 team of Aarya Vishnu and Parthiv Algubelli fought hard, they eventually lost 5-7, 4-6. At No. 3, the team of sophomore Nathan Zakariah and freshman Anirudh Baskar won 6-2, 6-3 to give Mountain House the very close 5-4 win.
"I am of course happy with the win against a well-coached team but we are not where we need to be to win the sectional championship again,” Su said. “We have a lot of work to do before the playoffs."
Next up for these Mustangs, the WAC league opener at home against the Patriots of Beyer High on Monday.
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