After trailing 4-2 through six singles matches to Livingston, the prospects of getting their ninth win in the Central California Conference appeared dire for the Patterson High boys tennis team, but a rally by their three pairs of doubles late pulled the rabbit out of the hat for the Tigers on Tuesday.
Patterson number one singles player senior Chris Tapia got Patterson on the board by defeating Adrian Maldonado in a match that took three sets. Tapia took the first 6-4, but Maldonado countered with a 6-2 victory of his own. Tapia cruised to a 6-1 victory in the third set to take the match.
Senior Lolyn Tejeda made an appearance as the number two singles contender in lieu of senior Logan Davis, who was out on Tuesday. Tejeda made quick work of Andrew Leon, winning in two sets 6-1 and 6-2.
Despite winning the top two singles matches, the final four singles on the billing went astray for Patterson.
Senior Jonathan Trans lost to Harkavan Bassi 6-4 and 6-2. Navpreet Singh tied up the team score by defeating freshman Diego Herrera 6-3 and 7-5.
Harpreet Singh triumphed over sophomore Jesus Torres 6-2 and 6-1, and Bryan Ponce gave the Wolves a healthy lead by taking the match over sophomore Antonio Briseno 6-4 and 6-2.
The situation appeared to be increasingly untenable for Patterson. The Tigers needed to sweep the remaining trio of matches in order to defeat Livingston.
The doubles portion of the roster answered the call, beginning with seniors Jared Hartsell and Alex Linares. The duo stifled the Wolves’ push with a 6-1 and 6-2 victory over Tagvir Hothi and Manjot Uppal, to get the Tigers back on track.
Sophomores Jovani Galvez and Miguel Prado continued to carry that momentum with a 6-2 and 7-5 victory over Stalindip Singh and Jagjit Atwal.
In the end it all came down to the final doubles match between Patterson sophomores Jason Elcano and Gabriel Avila versus Livingston’s Sukhpreet Ghuman and Bryan Aguilar.
Elcano and Avila had an impressive 6-0 victory in the first set, but Ghuman and Aguilar would not go down quietly, and reversed their fortune with a 6-4 win of their own in the second set.
In a dramatic flair, the team score was to be decided in a third set of the final match.
With the pressure of a team win on the line, Elcano and Avila rose to the occasion, defeating Ghuman and Aguilar 6-2.
This improved Patterson to 9-3 overall in the CCC. Livingston dropped to 4-7 in league play.
This was a critical win for the Tigers. Patterson held a one-win lead over Central Valley for the third and final playoff spot in the conference heading into Tuesday’s matches. With two games left in the season, Patterson will look be looking over their shoulders as the Hawks attempt to chase them down.
Patterson will draw a very tough match against the undefeated El Capitan Gauchos on Thursday, April 11.
The Tigers will end the season in what could be a match to decide the third and final playoff spot against Central Valley at home on Tuesday, April 16.
The CCC singles tournament is scheduled for April 17 with the doubles tournament to follow on April 18.