By Justin Vigil-Zuniga
Signal Sports Writer
Saugus boys’ tennis picked up two much-needed wins over Golden Valley and Lancaster.
The Centurions first traveled to Golden Valley for a windy league matchup with the Grizzlies on Thursday.
Saugus expected a close matchup and was able to come out on top in just that, winning 10-8.
In doubles, the Centurions won seven sets with top duo Sean Pacheco and Sean Poduska as well as the No. 2 pair Will Loo and Dylan Helms each winning all three of their sets.
“Doubles really stepped up today,” said head coach Bailey Sindle. “They knew they would have to step it up against Golden Valley if they wanted to win. Sweeping two of the lines was key to our victory today.”
Saugus’ No. 3 doubles pair Ethan Jegel and Anthony Pacheco also picked up one win against the Grizzlies’ No. 3 team.
On the singles side, Golden Valley No. 1 singles swept his three sets on the day. Saugus was able to win three sets in singles with Saugus No. 3 Andrew Belcher picking up one win, 6-1.
With one match still playing, the Centurions led 9-8 overall but had not won the match yet. Left playing was Golden Valley No. 3 and Saugus No. 1 Elijah Jimenez. Jimenez was up 5-1 in the deciding set but the Golden Valley No,3 started clawing his way back into the set. Jimenez had already picked up one win for Saugus earlier in the day. After a long-fought battle, Jimenez clinched not only the set, but also the match for the Centurions.
“It was a team effort today,” Sindle said. “We needed wins in singles and doubles and that’s what happened. Moving forward with the rest of the season, the team needs to play with the same intensity they brought today.”
To start off the week, the Centurions took on the undefeated Lancaster Eagles at Saugus High School and handed them their first loss, 13-5.
The Centurions started off strong and finished the first round leading 5-1. The second and third rounds would only intensify.
No. 1 Elijah Jimenez picked up with two set victories, defeating the Eagles No. 1 and No. 3 each by a score of 6-3. Saugus No. 2 Daniel Dallal and No. 3 Ethan Jegel each claimed a single set victory.
The Centurions went into doubles and dominated, winning all nine sets. The Saugus No. 1 duo of Poduska and Sean Pacheco continued their hot streak and swept all three of their sets without dropping a single game, 6-0, 6-0, 6-0.
“The Seans have been playing really well lately,” said Sindle. “We came up with a few new game strategies for them and since then they have been playing and communicating well.”
Helms and Loo and No. 3 Belcher and Mathew Tolosa also won all three of their sets convincingly.
“It was a doubles day and I couldn’t be happier,” said Sindle. “More importantly, I saw the boys having a lot of fun today and ultimately that’s the goal. Play well, never give up, and have fun.”
Saugus will host Castaic on Thursday at Saugus at 3 p.m.
Game recap information was provided by Saugus head coach Bailey Sindle.