SUNNYSIDE — Under bright sunshine and a blue sky, the Grizzly tennis team took to the courts and hosted their home opening match against Eastmont High School last Thursday afternoon.

Both Eastmont Wildcats boys and girls teams (2-0) defeated the upstart Grizzlies (0-1) in conference play, 6-1 in boys action. The girls score was unavailable.

“We’re up to 75 players this season, and the majority of them are first year. So, we had this huge wave come in, which was really awesome to see, and there’s a lot of potential there,” Head Coach Macario Solis described.

Over the past couple of seasons, the coach said, his experienced athletes have graduated, opening up a number of spots for younger players. He pointed out that the team is going through a rebuilding phase and is excited about the enormous turnout.

“For a lot of them it’s a new sport. They’re realizing and learning that there’s a lot of different challenges,” Solis said.

Match play experience is an important part of the learning process as players progress on learning and displaying the different strokes on the court.

“Even the players that are not on the competing team, they’re even asking, ‘When can we challenge coach?’ Because they want to climb up the ladder and challenge for a spot,” Solis acknowledged.

Fostering a competitive team environment, coach explained the top 10 players make up varsity team. The top four play singles and the remaining six play doubles. Players No. 11 and 12 play first and second JV singles. Between 13 and 20 form double teams.

“Everyone’s trying to get on the competition team to travel and compete,” Solis stated. “It’s just neat and an awesome sport. And, the group that we have right now is so great to work with.”

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