Aidan Ennis

Strathmore High School's Aidan Ennis keeps his eye on the ball during the No. 1 singles against Monache High School, Wednesday, March 31, 2021, at Strathmore High.

It was close, but Strathmore High School boys tennis pulled out a 4-3 win over Monache in Wednesday’s season opener at home.

The Spartans were down 3-1 after singles but got the sweep in doubles to win the match.

In doubles, No. 3 Seth Hernandez and Michael Kaufman got things going with an 8-2 win while No. 2 Nathaniel Stevenson and Samuel Kaufman won 8-5. 

The No. 1 doubles between Strathmore’s Aidan Ennis and Sutter Lautenschlager, and Monache freshman twins Marriner and Zach Christenson, was the closest of the doubles match with the scores going back and forth. However, the Spartans duo came out ahead 8-6.

“Every one of them was close,” SHS head coach Jim Melching said. “They’re all similar, first-year players. I think they had two returning. We had one. Great team. They played good, good sports. Now what I loved about it is that they were good with calls...They worked it out. And they were very friendly. Good sportsmanship. I’m happiest about that.”

Monache won the single’s portion of the match with No. 2 Zach Christenson winning the last three sets to beat Stevenson 8-6. In the No. 3 singles, Lautenschlager came back from down 7-3 to make it a one-game match at 7-6 against Mariner. However, Mariner won the next game to win the match 8-6. The Marauders’ No. Jonathan Guerro also topped Samuel Kaufman 8-4. 

“I’ve seen a lot of improvement,” MHS head coach Josh Seaman said. “Obviously, we have a bunch of new guys just learning the game. So it’s been cool to just work on the basics. Not a lot of success at first but a lot of learning experience. We’re having fun, so it’s a good group to work with.”

Ennis, Strathmore’s lone returner bested Monache’s Nathaniel Garcia for the 8-2 win in the No. 1 singles. 

Melching said that it was good to get this win to start the season since the team is young.

“It feels good because they’re mostly freshmen, and so they don’t have confidence yet, just (in) general,” he said. “So now they’ve got a win. Next time they come with a little swagger on themselves.”

The Spartans begin East Sequoia League play for their next game with a 4 p.m. match at Corcoran on April 13. Monache hosts El Diamante on April 8 at 4 p.m. for their next match. 

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