The first tennis match of this early season didn’t bring a victory home for the Coast Union boys — they lost 13-5 at Orcutt Academy — but Coach Shannon Jackson said, “These guys are pretty dedicated so we may have lost a match …, but we had a lot more success for our first match than we’ve ever had.”
In that match on Feb. 26 at Orcutt, Alexis Mireles won a pair of sets (6-0, 6-1) and lost another set it a “tough … tiebreaker,” Jackson reported. Jimmy Welch was victorious in one set (6-1); the doubles team of Omar Alarcon and Max Rodriguez won a set (6-1); and the doubles team of Paul Butterfield and Eric Hollingseed picked up a set win (7-5).
Jackson has 18 student athletes out for tennis, and 14 of them are returning players. “The whole team is working very hard,” she said.
As far as fundamentals that her players work on at the outset of the season, the coach said she has “boys on the varsity tennis team that have never held a racket before. So I have a whole spectrum of skill levels that I deal with on the court every day.
“So I have to keep my strategies simple because I don’t want them to develop any bad habits. Also, I’m pushing them to go get personal instruction. I have a list of people around the county that can help them, if they want to become better tennis players.”
Jackson is pleased that some of the boys play tennis on Saturdays with members of the Cambria Tennis Club, which she says is “one of the best things they can do.”
A perennial issue for soccer and tennis coaches at Coast Union is that no other Coast Valley League schools field teams in those sports. As a result, the Broncos are forced to schedule meetings with big schools that have a much larger pool of talent from which to draw. That can leave the Broncos outmatched. For example, Atascadero High School, Coast’s opponent on Tuesday, March 3, has 1,485 students, while Coast Union has about 230.
The coach knows that there “are tough odds to overcome” for players from Coast Union, but she fully expects the team to win some matches this season.
On Tuesday, March 3, the tennis team lost at Templeton 17-1, with Mireles winning the only set for Coast. The team hosts Paso Robles today, Thursday, at 3:30.