By Tom Price Jr.
The Exeter Monarchs boys tennis team pampered their home courts last week.
They repainted the lines and made them spotless for the East Sequoia League Championship on May 7. In a cruel twist of fate, the very courts that the Monarchs had treated so well were the location of two crushing defeats for Exeter in both the doubles and singles finals.
The Exeter doubles team of Dan McAlister and Nick Sanchez cruised into the semifinals after posting wins of 8-0 and 8-2 in the first two rounds. They advanced to the finals with a grueling 6-3, 4-6, 7-4 win over Luis Lopez and Joey Sanchez from Orosi.
The Exeter duo would once again take on an Orosi doubles team, this time for the ESL Championship. Orosi's David Rangel and Armando Gomez won the first set 6-3 and the match was ended due to an injury forfeit from Exeter with Orosi leading 4-1 in the second set. Exeter's Carson Wileman appeared to have all the momentum needed to capture the singles title. Following a first round bye, Wileman dispersed of Roger Mendoza from Lindsay 8-1, then made short work of Sammy Villanueva or Orosi in the semifinals. But the championship game was a different match. Wileman was blanked in the first set by Cesar Espino from Dinuba and battled back to win 6-4 in the second set. The third and deciding set went into a tiebreaker, and Wileman eventually lost 6-0, 4-6, 8-6. Exeter's only other singles participant, Daniel Maldonado, battled back from a 6-1 deficit in the first round, but eventually lost 8-5.
In other doubles action, the freshman combo of Kevin Aguet and Randy Shandler erased a 4-1 deficit to beat their Orosi opponent 8-6 in the first round. Unfortunately Llimi Lemus and Oscar Mendoza from Lindsay returned the favor in the second round defeating the first year players 8-6. The eventual champions, Gomez and Rangel from Orosi 8-4 erased Exeter's third double team participating in the tournament, Jose Luis Villanueva and Kannon Nalls, in the first round.
As of press time the results of the Valley Championship seeding meeting were not available. The seeds for the May 22, tournament at Tulare Western High School will be available in the April 19 issue of the Exeter Sun.