Freshmen hold the key to winning for Men’s Tennis

Kyle Kenehan/Photo Editor

Thomas Frey, Sports Editor

The Mesa men’s tennis match went down to the wire in its win over San Jacinto College.With only one returning player from a team that went to the state Final Four last season, the team has played strong and won some important matches.

The returning player, James Tenbroeck, is the team’s number one singles and doubles player. He went 0-2 against San Jacinto, but he has had a good season.

“James has a lot of Division 1 people looking at him right now. He’s already beat College of the Desert’s number one and he’s already beat Grossmont’s number one,” head coach Michael Hootner said.

Hootner is a former Mesa player who has made this program great. Coming into the season, Mesa had won 42 straight conference games and the last five conference championships.

“We’ve had a lot of success the last five years,” said Hootner who continued, “We’re competitive this year. I don’t know if we’re quite at that elite level but we’re very competitive again.”

The team is currently 5-1 in conference and 7-4 overall. One of those losses came at the hands of Division 1 Boston College. Even though Mesa got shut out, the team learned a lot from the experience.

“They had a lot of confidence obviously,” Hootner said. “The way that they construct points is fun to watch.” Boston College, who plays in the ACC, stopped to play Mesa on their way to play University of California, Irvine.

Three freshmen won their matches against San Jacinto to help the team win. Overall, there are nine total matches, six of them in singles and three in doubles. The singles matches are first, and then it closes with the three doubles matchups, which can become intense.

In this match, the singles matches were split 3-3. #3 Christopher Bastardi, #5 Carlos Reyes and #6 Daniel Streeter all won in straight sets.

The heroes of this match were not the top guys, however. Needing to win two of the three doubles matches, the #2 and #3 doubles teams pulled it off while the #1 team lost a tough one that went to three sets. The #2 team of Shane Fisher and Daniel Streeter beat San Jacinto’s #2 team in straight sets 6-4; 6-3.

It was much closer in the #3 doubles match that featured Carlos Reyes and Tommy Troung. After Mesa won the first set 6-4, San Jacinto won the second set 7-5. Reyes and Troung dominated the third set 10-2, and Mesa won the match.

Two days later, the team went to Ventura College and won in almost identical fashion. This time, #2 Jesse Donahue, #5 Troung and #6 Streeter won the singles matches in straight sets. Just like the previous match, the team’s #2 and #3 doubles teams won, and this time, they did it in straight sets to win the game for Mesa.

“This is definitely the least experienced team we have had. But we’ve done a good job so far,” Hootner commented.

The fact that they are winning with a team consisting of nearly all freshman makes the future seem very bright for the men’s tennis team here at Mesa.