TURLOCK — The 97-mile trip to Turlock High was a successful one for the Armijo High boys tennis team as the Indians hung on for a 5-4 victory to reach the semifinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs, Monday.
The win earns Armijo another road trip and a shot at defending champion Jesuit of Carmichael, a 9-0 winner over Del Oro, Tuesday.
“At least we’ve gone as far as we could possibly go,” said a philosophical Armijo coach Greg Davis. “It’s been a really fun and exciting year.”
The Indians (21-1) got it done in singles on Monday, winning the first five matches. The closest call was at No. 2 where Andrew “A.J.” Freeman rallied for a 1-6, 6-0, 6-4 win over Marco Andreas.
“That was the one that did it, that was the longest match of the day,” Davis said. “After the first set we thought it was ‘one and done.’ Andrew went back in with a great second set and came out on top. Andrew won by being just a little more consistent and a little more persistent as well. It was a very determined match. It could’ve gone either way. It was tied 4-4 in the third set.”
Armijo’s other wins were by Derek Wadsworth at No. 1 (6-2, 6-0 over Ryan Asai), Andrew Saghir at No. 3 (6-2, 6-3 over Eilan Shabaz), Sean Dolan at No. 4 (6-2, 6-0 over Johnny Brenda) and Liem Nguyen at No. 5 (6-3, 6-2 over Nick Bardeh).
“So we’re at Jesuit in the semifinals,” Davis said. “Not bad. It’s nice to see us back there again after a year’s absence. Obviously, we’re playing the No. 1 powerhouse in Northern California in Jesuit. We’re look forward to playing with the big boys. As a coach, I’m happy with today’s match. It was a good team effort.”