By Bill Tamburrino
The Ramona tennis team battled Del Norte High School for the Valley League title but came up short in a highly contested 11-7 loss at Riviera Oaks Resort and Racquet Club.
There was a big showing of support from the tennis community at the match. Parents, friends, students, relatives, Riviera Oaks members, and several members of the girls tennis team were there and brought snacks, energy drinks and bars, and moral support.
“We gave it our all and we left it all on the court. That is all that I can ask of my team. We made some changes in our lineup and we tried to beef up our doubles teams. To beat them we felt we had to do it in doubles play. Athletes changed from singles to doubles and gave it their best effort.
“They are a good team and they earned the championship. It was a lot of fun this year having a chance to compete for a championship. I am proud of our team,” said coach Doug Failla.
Ramona earned all of its 7 team points in doubles action. Going into the final round of play the Dawgs had a mathematical chance of winning the match. Ricky Flores and Christian Failla won three sets by posting scores of 6-1, 6-2, and then won a heavily contested set by a score of 7-5. Nick Peterson and Garrett Wilcox won their first two sets and lost their final set to Del Norte’s No. 1 doubles team. They went 4-6, 6-1, and 6-3. Jack Mellecker and Chad Martin also racked up 2 team points as they went 3-6, 6-3, and 6-1. Their only loss came to Del Norte’s No. 1 doubles team who had played together all season.
In singles action Del Norte has one of the best players in the CIF and state, Peter Thrac, and he won all of his sets 6-0. Ramona’s No. 1 player, Daniel Streeter, gave it his all and contested every point in all three of his sets. He went 0-6 and then battled Noah Bennett in a grueling set and lost 5-7. Streeter battled fatigue and hydration in his final set and lost 3-6.
Adam Mazzola went 0-6, 2-6, and 1-6. Shay Alwan posted scores of 0-6, 0-6, and 0-6. Both contested every point in each set.
Ramona forced the showdown with Del Norte by beating Valley Center 15-3 on the road in a match earlier in the week. Streeter won three sets with scores of 6-0, 6-0, and 6-1. Mazzola won two sets by going 6-3, then lost a tough set by a score of 5-7 and then went 6-1. Alwan went 3-6 and 7-5 and Stephen Janak went 4-6.
The doubles teams served up seven bagels and won all nine doubles points. Flores and Failla went 6-0, 6-1, and 6-0. Peterson and Wilcox went 6-0 three times. Mellecker and Martin posted scores of 6-1, 6-0, and 6-0.
“The Del Norte match would not have had any importance if we hadn’t beat Valley Center,” said Failla.