By Bill Tamburrino
Ramona High tennis coach Doug Failla is not afraid to shake up his lineup. He assesses his opponent’s lineup and tries to match his players’ strengths against the opponent to give his team its best chance to win.
Failla made some crucial changes to his lineup and the changes worked as his Bulldog tennis team upset Poway High School 11-7 at Riviera Oaks Resort and Racquet Club on April 12. It was the Bulldogs’ first win in the Palomar League. The Bulldogs played four matches last week because of re-scheduling due to opponents’ spring breaks. Ramona won two matches. Ramona is 7-6 overall and 2-5 in the Palomar League.
Every week Coach Failla says, “We work hard every day and we improve every week.” That is more than rhetoric.
In their first match against Poway, Ramona lost 11-7. Poway (7-6, 3-2) took six of the nine doubles points.
John Shupe and Tyler McDonald won all three of their sets in the first meeting, so Failla left that part of his lineup alone in the rematch. Failla teamed his usual number one singles player, Cameron Ruland, with his newly eligible foreign exchange player Vasek Reischl and the move paid off big time. The duo won three sets by going 6-1, 6-0 and 6-1.
Garrett Hatch and Chris Page made a huge improvement over their first match against the Titans. Hatch and Page lost three sets in the first match. They took two team points in the rematch by posting scores of 6-2, 6-2 and they lost a tie breaker 6-7 (6-8).
So in the rematch with a re-tooled line-up, Ramona took eight out of nine doubles points, a five point turnaround and an eight point turnaround from the Westview match the previous day.
In the first Poway match, Daniel Streeter did not win a set playing in the number two singles spot. The sophomore southpaw showed great improvement in the second match. He went 1-6, 6-1 and 6-1 taking all of the singles points the team needed to win.
Christian Failla added an insurance point by going 0-6, 3-6 and 6-2. Nick Peterson, usually a doubles player, went 0-6, 0-6 and 3-6.
Ramona dropped a 14-4 decision to Westview High School (11-3, 4-1) at Riviera Oaks on April 11.
Reischl took two sets in singles action by going 6-4, 3-6 and winning a tie breaker 7-6 (7-3). Streeter also picked up two team points by going 2-6, 6-0 and 7-5. Ruland went 1-6 and 4-6. Chad Martin turned in a score of 0-6.
Westview won all nine doubles points. Shupe and McDonald went 0-6, 3-6 and 4-6. Hatch and Peterson went 4-6, 0-6 and 1-6. Failla and Peterson went 0-6, 1-6 and 3-6.
Ramona lost to Palomar League leading Rancho Bernardo (12-1, 4-0) 17-1 last Thursday. Shupe and McDonald picked up Ramona’s lone team point. The dual went 0-6, 0-6 and 7-6 in doubles action.
The Dawgs finished a busy week in grand fashion by beating Mt. Carmel 12-6 at Riviera Oaks on Friday.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the way the team is coming together. We beat Poway and Mt. Carmel in league matches. We are getting better with each match. That is all that I can say,” said Failla.
Ruland won three team points against Mt. Carmel as he retuned to his familiar number one singles spot.
Ruland went 6-1, 6-0 and 6-1. Streeter went 2-6, 6-1 and 6-0 to take two sets. Christian went 0-6 and 7-5 to win a team points.
Shupe and McDonald won three points with scores of 6-3, 6-3 and 6-0. Page and Hatch took two sets with scores of 6-1 and 6-0.
Peterson and Chad Martin won one set by going 4-6, 3-6 and 7-5.