It was a good week for both the Lyford and La Feria tennis teams.
At the District 32-3A tournament last Friday, the host Bulldogs had a bevy of athletes qualify for the Region IV-3A meet, which is set for April 17-18 in San Marcos.
Meanwhile, at the District 32-4A tourney at Zapata this past weekend, La Feria had several players punch their tickets to the Region IV-4A tournament to be held April 18-19 in Corpus Christi.
Lyford’s Nick Martinez was the 32-3A boys singles champion while Rudy Rodriguez and Jonathan Rodriguez took home second place in the boys doubles competition.
On the girls side, Maria Anastasia Vasquez and Natalie Guzman were the doubles champions while the team of Irene Hernandez and Aaliyah Yameogo was second.
Finally, Wendy Cepeda came in second in the girls singles division to also earn a regional spot.
As for La Feria, regional qualifiers include: Carlos Gamboa, who was first in boys singles; Ashley Avalos and Violeta Gamboa, who won the girls doubles title; and Angela Hernandez and Denise Garcia, who came in second behind Avalos and Gamboa in girls doubles.
CALLING IT A CAREER: This season marks the end of the line for longtime La Feria tennis coach Juan Hernandez, who announced after the district tournament Saturday that he will be retiring at the end of the school year.
Since arriving at La Feria in 1997, the girls tennis team had won the league title every year and the boys had done the same since 2000.
Ironically, this season marked the end of that streak as Zapata dethroned the Lions from their post this past Saturday.
Heading into the conference tournament, Hernandez had been wary of the Hawks and his premonition was founded as the Lions had to settle for second.
“Even the great Geno Auriemma had his steak broken,” Hernandez joked, referring to the UConn women’s college basketball team, which had its 111-game win streak snapped last Friday.
UPCOMING TOURNAMENT: The District 32-6A tourney is set for today and Friday at Weslaco East High School.
Defending champion Harlingen South is expected to be the odd-on favorite to repeat this weekend, however the Hawks could get some stiff competition from Harlingen High and San Benito.
Harlingen’s mixed doubles team of David Gracia and Kaitlyn Jones are the top seed entering the tourney while in girls singles, Skylar Snell will be seeded second as will the boys doubles team of Alec Macmanus and Jacob Canales.
San Benito’s Derrick Layton, meanwhile, should contend in the boys singles division.
The Region IV-6A tournament is set for April 18-19 at the McFarland Tennis Center in San Antonio.