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Eagles tennis returns to first Valley Championship match since 2003

Update 5-15-18:

The Eagles were defeated by the Liberty M/D Hawks, 5-1, in the CIF Central Section Division V Valley Championships, May 15. The last time the boys tennis team won the Valley Championships was in 1999. They also won it in 1998 and 1997, and as runner-up in 1996 under coach Allen Tong.

Braden Bell, ’20, who has played tennis for the last two years, is proud of all the effort the team put forth but is still disappointed in the loss.

“I think we all really tried our hardest but,” Bell said, “because we most of us won in the first set we kind of just expected we would win again in the second set but that didn’t happen. So we went into a super tiebreaker and that’s where it’s a third game and you play 10 games and you have to win by two games.”

All losses resulted from super tie-breakers.


After defeating Caruthers High School, the Fresno Christian boys tennis team will host Liberty High School for the CIF Central Section Division V Valley Championship, May 15, at 2:30 p.m. The final match in a 11-3 season, and upcoming championship, will be the first time the Eagles have reached Valley Championships since 2003.

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

This is the first time the boys tennis team has made it to the Valley Championship match since 2003.

Head coach Robert Foshee who also played tennis when he was younger, has led the team through the season and has seen the progress his team has made over his nine years of coaching tennis.

I think they have worked hard during this year and during the off season,” Foshee said, “They have really put the time in. They have not just shown up but worked hard. We have a  younger team so it helps us to have the extra energy and to do well during the games.”

Foshee also thinks that because during the league many players were absent it may have hurt them, but now with all players present he feels the team has a good chance.

“I don’t think I was surprised that we made it to the championships,” Foshee said. “I think during the beginning we had such high expectations and then with school trips and functions we were missing some people so we had a lull. And we didn’t do as well as we hoped in league, finishing third. But then we started coming back together with everybody there so at the end of this season we have made a good run and we made it to the finals.”

Alexander Rurik, ’19, who has been on the team for the past two years, has also recognized the standards the team set at the beginning of the year.

“Our team had expectations that we did not meet this year, but through the adversity, I have seen us really pick it up towards the end,” Rurik said, “especially in the playoffs.”

Foshee also comments on how the team will need to work hard for them to win against Liberty.

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

The boys tennis team recently had their senior night, where Jaden Ventura was honored earlier in May.

“Liberty is a bigger school so I think getting in there is a great accomplishment and all of us have wanted to take this last step,” Foshee said. “We made it to the quarter finals three years ago and for the last two years we made it to the semi finals, and this year we have gotten over that hump. But Liberty is a good team. They have a good number one and they are solid from top to bottom, so it is going to take an effort from all the players to pull this off.”

One of the reasons Rurik enjoys the sport is due to the participation and effort of the team.

“My favorite thing about tennis is that it is an individual sport but at the same time a team sport,” Rurik said. “I really like the practices because we have such a fun group of guys that it is always fun to be out here.”

Although there are no more tennis practices, the Valley Championship game will start on the Eagle courts, starting at 2:30 p.m. 

Bryce Foshee also contributed to this article.

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Vijay Stephen can be reached via email and Twitter.

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