The Taft High varsity boys’ tennis team finished third out of 16 teams in the Division 6 bracket of the California Boys Tennis Classic Friday and Saturday.
The event is the largest high school tennis tournament in the nation and attracts the top 118 high schools in Central and Northern California from Chico and the San Francisco Bay area to Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and even Arizona.
Overall, Taft, a school of 900 students, finished 83rd among the top 118 high schools north of Los Angeles.
On Friday, Taft opened the tournament by beating Orosi, 5-1. Taft then shut out Roosevelt, 6-0.
The Wildcats made it a clean sweep by beating St. Mary’s, a Division I private school from Stockton, 4-2. Taft lost at 1 and 2 singles but swept 3 singles and 1, 2 and 3 doubles.
On Saturday, Taft faced the other 3-0 teams. Division 1 Frontier beat Taft, 4-2, in a close match when Taft lost the top two singles matches and lost tiebreakers in the bottom two doubles matches.
Taft ended the tourney 4-1, after the Wildcats pulled out a nail-biting win, 3-3, 61-52 in games, over Granite Hills of Porterville. Taft again won in the middle at 3 singles and 1 and 2 doubles.
Junior Cristo Miranda was 5-0 playing No. 3 singles and senior Matua Iakopo was 5-0 playing No. 1 doubles and No. 2 singles.
Junior Brayan Herrera also went 5-0 playing No. 1 doubles. Sophomore Kyler Fields and junior Oscar Martinez went 4-1 at No. 2 doubles. Sophomore Pastor Magana and senior Gilbert Orozco went 3-2 at No. 3 doubles.
Frontier beat El Diamante of Visalia in the finals, 6-0.
“We were missing our No. 4 player and, with him, I believe we could have beaten Frontier and won the bracket. We will probably have another chance in the Lynch Cup in two weeks. Overall, it was a very good outing for a team composed mostly of juniors,” coach Carnal said.
“The tournament results put us in position to be seeded No. 1 or 2 in Division IV in the Section playoffs if we continue playing as well as we have.”
Taft is 6-1 overall.
The varsity team travels to McFarland on Tuesday.
McFarland does not have a JV team.
Taft’s varsity will host Arvin Wednesday while the JV team travels there.
On Friday and Saturday, the JV team plays in the Frontier Tournament.