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Oak Ridge tennis team tops Folsom, 6-3

By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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For the first time in several years, Oak Ridge High’s varsity boys’ tennis team defeated Folsom on Monday, 6-3.

The Bulldogs are coming off a strong season, but lost 14 players to graduation, half of which were in the starting lineup. The Trojans are a young and up-and-coming team and featured nine underclassmen and only three seniors in their lineup against Folsom. While the team’s split the six singles matches, Oak Ridge dominated the doubles, winning 36 of the 37 games.

Will Insalaco and Ethan Goode dropped one game at No. 1 doubles over Akash Abraham and Justin Chao, 6-0, 6-1, while Joseph Diaz and Erik Greer and Ben Diaz and Blake Howard rolled to 6-0, 6-0 shutout wins at No. 2 and 3 doubles, respectively.

In singles play, Folsom won the two matches at the top of the ladder, as Sean Barstow blanked Richard Hull, 6-0, 6-0, at No. 1 and Andrew Tseng defeated Luke Mulert, 6-3, 7-6 (6).

Oak Ridge, however, picked up wins at No. 3 and 4 singles. Scott Tran won a dogfight of a match against Diego Rodriguez, 7-6 (3), 4-6, (10-4). Sean Bochaton earned a 6-1, 6-4 win over Chandu Kathi.

Folsom’s Langston Vu defeated Jackson Stone 6-3, 6-4 at No. 5 singles, while Oak Ridge’s Jameson Spitz got the best of Pranay Jha, 6-1, 6-1 at No. 6.

“We beat them after a long, tough match,” Oak Ridge coach Tony Diaz said. “It’s been the first time in at least five years sine we’ve done it, so we were pretty excited.”

Folsom coach Rich Klingensmith countered saying, “It was a tough match. We almost grabbed the 5-4 win with our top five lines of singles. We had an opportunity to win.”

The Trojans are off to a good start this season and have high expectations.
“Overall, we are having our best season since I took over for this team three years ago,” Diaz said. “We have amazing leadership with senior co-captains Richard Hull and Jameson Spitz. They lead by example and are willing to help our team in any way. Our team is young, with only four seniors, three juniors, nine sophomores, and four freshmen on our 20-member team, but they are extremely talented and competitive.”

Oak Ridge has already beaten some top teams this season with wins over last year’s Division II section champion Laguna Creek and the Division II runner-up, Rio Americano. The team did suffer an 8-1 SFL loss to perennial power Granite Bay.

“We know we still have tons of work to do to get to their level, but we have the core group of kids who have the focus and determination to work hard to get to the next level,” Diaz said. “Our goal is to get better every day and make playoffs.”

For the Bulldogs, they know it will be a tough go in league.

“Granite Bay beating Oak Ridge 8-1 just shows how tough our league is,” Klingensmith said. “Our team needs to continue to train hard for our tough opponents.”