Tennis team advances to area

Tribe tennis will face Canyon High in area on Oct. 18 after defeating Clint Mountain View in bi-district on Oct. 15.

  “I expect it to be really close, but I also expect us to win, hopefully,”  junior  Lauren Smith said. “But they are really an equal team with us now.” 

  Tennis coach Kevin Gersbach had set expectations for the team at area.

  “I expect us to go out there and just blow Canyon out of the water,”  Gersbach said. “They’re looking past us. Earlier in the fall we went 5-10 with them and we lost 5 supers in doubles and right now we’re a better doubles team than we were, they’ve lost one of their top players. I expect us to not have to go through those five supers, and to be on top when we come out of doubles. “

  This is not the first time Tribe tennis has faced Canyon High. 

  “Last time we played Canyon, we were ahead in every set and then in the second set, we lost it and we went to five tiebreakers which is basically almost in every match,” senior Jasmin Klassen said. “It’s kind of interesting because they all ended up turning against us, so we ended up losing a lot of those. I’m expecting us to be able to pull those off this time and just stay strong in what we do, not play to their level and not let them get to us because right now they’re just expecting to steamroll over us and move on to the next week and we want to try and show them we got something. So we’ll see what happens.”

  The team defeated Mountain View, 18-1, in its bi-district match up in Carlsbad. Mountain View had played Monahans earlier in the season, which was the only indicator to measure with.

  “I mean with the El Paso teams you never know,”  Gersbach said. “There is one good El Paso 4A team here and there. They were district champions. They played Monahans who beat them 16-3, so we played the bottom team in that district, and I expected us to win 19-0, and we should have. We lost one match; it’s just been characteristic for us at that position in our ladder. I expected us to be an absolute blowout so it was good.”

  On Oct. 10, the team made history. They beat school rival Andrews for the first time in team tennis. 

  “It was a pretty big deal it’s kind of a turning point because they’ve been district champions for 13 years and we’ve been after them for as long as I can remember,” Klassen said.  “It’s also a big deal for Coach Gersbach and for the whole team. It really helped us finally bond, if that makes sense and it’s brought out the team atmosphere that we haven’t really been having lately so I thought it was really good.”

  Gersbach also had to defeat Andrews high on his list of goals, which the team did on Oct. 1, followed by a 10-5 win over Fort Stockton on Oct. 5, cementing the championship in the district.

  “The thing about it is they’ve had it for 13 years in a row, and it felt so good to take it from them,” Gersbach said. “It’s something that we’ve worked so hard for. When I first took over, they were so far out of our league that it was just insane, and it’s one of those things where we thought we’d never get there.”