By Patrick Dillon @pdillon_sgn
VISALIA – Tennis players gathered at Redwood High School last Friday and Saturday for the Central Area Tournament. Woodlake’s Sierra Bolanos and Exeter’s top doubles team of Osiris Zepeda-Castro and Frankie Velasques all made it to the second day but fell one match short of qualifying for area.
Bolanos entered the tournament as the sixth ranked singles player in the tournament. She began with a comeback win (6-7, 6-2, 6-3) over Redwoods Maddie Adams in her Friday morning match. An hour later she had to go up against Corcoran’s Edith Aguilera and defeated her in straight sets (6-0, 6-0). On Saturday morning Bolanos was eliminated by Sydney Reimer.
The duo of Castro and Velasques were firing on all cylinders during their Friday morning match as they won in straight sets (6-0, 6-2) over a doubles team from Corcoran. Next, they were victorious over a Central Sequoia League rival team from Dinuba in three sets (6-7, 6-2, 6-1) before losing in their morning match on Saturday to the top team from Sanger (1-6, 4-6).
“With the result I think they did very well and should be very happy with how they played,” Exeter head coach Carol Holman said.
In the singles matches two juniors from Strathmore in Hennasey Mendoza and Neha Reddy showed some promise. Mendoza got a free pass to the afternoon matches when her first round match withdrew. She faced the top-seeded player in the tournament, Redwood’s Claire Yang, and lost in straight sets (0-6, 0-6).
Reddy gave Central Valley Christian’s Rylie Westra all she could handle but always was a point behind as she lost in straight sets (4-6, 2-6).
Golden West’s Emily Wells lost the seventh ranked player in the tournament Immanuel’s Grace Goertzen in straight sets (0-6, 1-6).
The Blazers top doubles team was also upset by Mission Oak in straight sets (1-6, 5-7).