Coach Ron Ruggles has been pleased and impressed with the level of talent on his Coast Union varsity tennis team — and is proud of the way they have battled against tennis teams from bigger schools in the county.
But over the past week or so his team is struggling with injuries and illness. His number-two seed has been sick for over a week and two other players are down with shoulder (suspected rotator cuff) injuries. “It’s just too much for this little team to have,” Ruggles explained.
“I’ve had to sit a couple girls down and try to let the injuries heal,” he continued. In fact if he had been able to field all his talent, he is “pretty sure we could have beat Templeton and Morro Bay,” teams that defeated Coast Union last week.
What the injuries have done to Ruggles’ strategies is set him back from his original long-range planning. He has been grooming junior varsity tennis players to play singles for next year when they will be varsity.
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But with the injuries to his current varsity players, “I have to bring three pretty darn strong singles girls up to the varsity to play doubles. But doubles is a whole different game and that’s tough on the girls to ask them to learn doubles so quickly.
“They are giving it their best shot and trying hard but it’s tough,” Ruggles added. “This school is really too small for us to be able to overcome injuries and sickness on a team like ours. We can get back on track, because these things are temporary. It’s just that, at this point, it’s tough.”
On Tuesday the Lady Broncos lost 9-9 to Pioneer Valley based on tiebreakers (71-67), but CU’s Alex Zaragoza swept her singles (6-1, 6-1, 6-0). The doubles team of Morgan May and Kylie Castle won 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, and the team of Bennett McManus and Aymee Gonzalez won their first set of the year, 6-4.