Ready for service: City tennis focusing on the little things

City College freshman Liliya Guslistova serves the ball during warm-ups before the Feb. 20 match against Sequoias at the City College tennis courts. | Photo by Dianne Rose dianne.rose.express@gmail.com

Nick Pecoraro

Sports Editor

Npecoraro.express@gmail.com

 

Outdoor spring sports generally run into weather problems throughout their respective seasons.

Mother Nature has played a role in disrupting the early part of the City College women’s tennis season, limiting the team’s practice time.

Rain throughout last week, including a brief hailstorm on campus Feb. 26, forced David Griffin to cancel practice before the team’s Feb. 27 match against Fresno City College.

“Not having seen a ball in the air for three days since our last match (due to weather), we definitely showed up,” said Griffin, who has been the City tennis coach since 2001. “We had a very winnable match (against Fresno). It should’ve been completely different.”

City fell to 1-3 on the season after a 6-3 loss to Fresno. Denise Mosciatti picked up a singles win (6-1, 6-2) and City scored two more walkover wins, since Fresno did not have enough competitors to match the Panthers.

City did not have any games scheduled before conference play. The team’s first match was against the College of the Sequoias, who were already at least six matches into their season. After being shut out 9-0 by Sequoias Feb. 20 in the season-opener, City rebounded with a 6-3 victory over Cosumnes River College Feb. 23.

“We were struggling to win a point in a game (against Sequoias),” said coach David Griffin. “CRC was a very competitive match. We had a very solid team effort that day.”

Against Cosumnes River, City College scored singles victories from Mosciatti (6-1, 6-2), Liliya Guslistova (6-4, 6-1), Jordyn Kennedy (6-2, 6-1) and Aide Preciado (6-0, 6-1). In doubles action, Kennedy and Preciado picked up an 8-1 win while Mosciatti and Raquel Palma secured an 8-3 victory, helping City earn their first win of the season.

“Our strength is each other,” said Palma, a sophomore returning from last year’s team. “We’re really well-bonded together. Last year, we were just there. This year, it’s all positive and uplifting and fun.”

Mosciatti has been the team’s No. 1 player this season. Griffin said that Mosciatti has the capability of slicing through opponents “like a hot knife through butter.” She leads the team with two singles victories and one in doubles.

“Her slice is really killer,” said Palma, Mosciatti’s doubles partner. “She’s a lefty, but she’s ambidextrous. She’s really athletic as well.”

After just one win over the past two seasons, Griffin and company are trying to sharpen the smaller details.

“We’re really focusing on our basic techniques and improving on that, not really focusing on the scores or the outcome as much,” said Palma. “(Griffin) is good at keeping us focused when we’re down. He’s good at making sure we know what our errors are and how to fix them.”

City’s next match is March 6 at City College against Modesto Junior College.

For more info on SCC women’s tennis, visit www.sccpanthers.losrios.edu/sports/wten/.