The Taft High varsity boys’ tennis team beat the Wasco Tigers, 7-2, on Thursday in a Division IV Section playoff match. The Wildcats advance to the Valley finals on Tuesday. The other semifinal game will be played Monday in Visalia with No. 1 seed Central Valley Christian hosting No. 4 Immanuel of Reedley.
Taft swept the singles to win the match in the first round. Number 1 Rafa Arreguin beat Mikey Castro, 6-3, 7-5. At Number 2 singles, Chuy Gutierrez beat Christian Flores, 6-0, 6-2. The closest match was at No. 3 with Cristo Miranda warding off Christian Sanchez. At No. 4, Cameron Bunch was the first one off the court after making quick work of Haedon Kaufman, 6-0, 6-0. Kyler Fields beat Eduardo “Lalo” Castro, 6-3, 6-0. And, Brayan Herrera handled Rudy Villalobos, 6-4, 6-0.
At No. 1 doubles, No. 2 Matua Iakopo and No. 3 Gutierrez beat Flores and Christian Sanchez. With the match won, Taft coach Jim Carnal played lower players and Wasco won the bottom two matches in close contests.
At Number 2 doubles, No. 1 Mikey Castro and No. 5 Eduardo Castro beat No. 7 Brayan Herrera and No. 8 Oscar Martinez, 7-5, 6-4. At No. 3 doubles, Marco Sanchez and Ernie Prado came from behind to beat Pastor Magana and Isaiah Sharp, 2-6, 6-4, 10-7.
Taft improved to 21-4; Wasco dropped to 15-9.
Coach Carnal said, “CVC should win its semifinal match. They have a strong number 1 and 2 in the Gong brothers, so it will be up to our team depth if the boys’ team is to win its first Valley championship.”