High Desert Tennis Association High Desert Tennis Association

Hawks soar past Sultans

Silverado drops just two sets in nonleague victory

Thursday, March 9, 2006
© Daily Press, a Freedom Communications Newspaper

HESPERIA — Even in the earliest of its preseason matches, Silverado tennis coach Suzi Paxton is impressed with what she’s seeing on the court.

Ben Zagala, the Hawks' No. 3 singles player, trailed Sultana’s No. 1 Tenis Taing 1-4 on Wednesday before eventually rallying to win in a tiebreaker and helping Silverado cruise to a 16-2 victory over the Sultans in a nonleague match.

"That to me is just a true athlete," Paxton said. "He came back to win the tiebreaker and showed he had enough in him to keep giving it all he had."

Zagala swept his sets, as did Silverado’s No. 1 Nico Combes, who dropped just two games. The doubles teams of Tim Le and Stephen Patch, and Morgan Sanchez and Takahira Nakamura swept as well.

"It’s a nice way to start the season," said Paxton, whose team improved to 2-0. "I think we have good focus this year. They've really come together as a team and are helping each other out. I'm really pleased with the team camaraderie."

For Sultana, Roberto Archuleta and the doubles team of Casey Bensenberg and Ryan Smith each won a set.

"(Silverado is) strong," second-year Sultana coach Wayne Elliott said. "My team is much improved from last year. We have 20 guys, but we don't have any starting seniors."

Despite the team’s youth, the Sultans are looking to improve on last year’s fourth-place Mojave River League finish.

"This year we're going to do better," Elliott said. "I'm sure we should be able to pull out a few more matches."

As for the Hawks, the preseason provides an opportunity to tinker with lineups, though Paxton doesn't expect wholesale changes.

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