The Imperial Valley League tennis tournament kicks off this Tuesday with revenge and bragging on the line
BRAWLEY, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) – The Brawley Union High School boys’ tennis team saw their regular season end last Wednesday with an 11-7 loss to Vincent Memorial.
It was the second meeting of the year between the two schools. The first match did not jump as Brawley had hoped when he fell 10-8, the second time was almost an identical result.
Calexico would claim the title in the regular season the very next day with a victory over Vincent Memorial. Brawley and Vincent Memorial came in second despite the Scots defeating Brawley twice.
“It all depends on how you look at it when you look at the position,” said Brawley’s freshman head coach Marcelo Rodriguez. “Of course they beat us twice in two of our three losses. But we defeated Calexico once, they did not. They also lost to SouthWest.”
The current CIF Division 3 UTR (universal tennis rankings) also agrees with coach Rodriguez. Calexico is number two and Brawley number six, with the top 13 teams advancing to the CIF San Diego section. The Vincent Memorial is currently on the outside and looking inside.
“When we got in, we got really hot in,” Rodriguez said. “We went really strong in the first half of the season and we dropped off a bit in the second half of the season.”
Despite the loss, Brawley’s third double team got revenge on the only team they lost to the entire season. Gilbert Cruz and Jared Saldana won this match 6-4 against Vincent Memorials Sebastian Arguelles and Juan Hodgers.
Rodriguez said he is proud of his team. He said they have always been good, but the last year has been better.
Brawley’s key player, sophomore Jacob Montesinos, did not play in the last game of the season due to being dehydrated during last Monday’s match against Calexico.
Rodriguez said Jacob fainted due to heat exhaustion and had to be rushed to El Centro Regional Medical Center and then flown out to a children’s hospital in San Diego.
“The only thing I remember is waking up in the hospital in El Centro,” Jacob said. “All I know is that I tried. When it was five everyone and everyone tied up, I really wanted to give up, but I just had that motivation in me because my team wanted to look at me and they supported me. “They gave me the motivation to keep going, at least to end the fight, and I did, but I lost in the end, but no matter what, I never gave up.”
Jacob was discharged from the hospital Tuesday and back with his teammates on Wednesday, but as a cheerleader. He has been working over the weekend to prepare for the IVL tournament, which begins this coming Tuesday and Wednesday at Southwest High School.
Montesinos says he just needs a little relaxation and he will be good to go to the Imperial Valley League (IVL) tournament. IVL is where all the players in the valley compete in a single tournament for a place in the CIF – San Diego Section.
Jacob Montesino’s father, Ernesto Montesinos, who is also an assistant coach, loves being able to watch his son play the sport he once practiced.
“My hope for this team is honestly that they can play tennis throughout their lives,” said Ernesto Montesinos.
Ernesto Montesinos still wants to see the boys’ tennis team at Brawley excel.
“We plan to bring a program that will basically last a while,” Ernesto Montesinos said. “Hopefully, if we are not here in the future, coaches can take up our tactics and move on.”
For the league tournament, the coaches announced the names of the participants at the weekend, and the pairings will be announced early in the week.
“Each Imperial League school can submit up to five entries for each category,” said Vincent Memorial head coach David Wong. “The top five in each category will play in the CIF San Diego singles and doubles section after the season tournament, which begins Monday, May 9.”
The local post-season singles and doubles tournament will determine who is the number one singles player and number one doubles team in the Imperial Valley and will hopefully be decided on Wednesday afternoon.