Tennis team bounces back against Santa Barbara

The previous back-to-back losses combined with the drive to regain a footing for the  playoffs pushed the Brahmas to fight harder than ever for victory against the Santa Barbara Vaqueros.

Pierce’s men’s tennis team beat the Vaqueros Thursday, 5-4, mirroring the last time the teams met at Pierce last February that resulted in defeat, 4-5.

The sting of that loss against the Vaqueros in February remained fresh in the mind of the players and coach alike.

“We definitely turned the tide this time and I feel the next couple of matches will be good,” head coach Rajeev Datt said.

After the 1-8 loss against Mt. San Jacinto, the 3-6 loss against Ventura, and the absence of still-injured top-player David Engelberg the team managed to valiantly overcome these obstacles with the drive to reach the upcoming playoffs.

“As long as we can split with Ventura in the next game, we should make team [playoffs],” Datt said.

The singles ended with a tense, best of three set battle between Pierce’s Thales Castro and Santa Barbara’s Troy Akin, finishing in the Vaqueros favor.

Castro was down 4-6 after the first set, then Akin was down 6-4 in the next, with Akin tying it up and winning it in the third and final set.

Though both teams won three sets in the singles, the doubles is where Pierce came out on top with a close but steady 2-1 total victory.

Sean Dullaghan and Moises Cardenas took an 8-6 win in the doubles games, as well as Patrick Massey and Castro finishing off the lead with an 8-4 win.

“I’m proud of the team,” Datt said. “The past few weeks have been a bit heavy but we’re still doing quite well,”

The next scheduled match is at Pierce against Glendale on Tuesday, March 20 at 2:00 p.m.