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One hurdle over, few more remain

Del Oro’s win over Granite Bay was its first since 2009
By: Justin A. Lawson Journal Sports Writer
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LOOMIS – Good things happen when the Del Oro High boys tennis team beats Granite Bay. But good times seemed like distant memories the last two years as the Grizzlies served as a road block instead of a stepping stone. Before this season, the last time the Eagles beat Granite Bay was 2009, which is also the last time they brought home the Sierra Foothill League and the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II crowns. So when the remaining eight players, who were freshmen in 2009, got the chance to play Granite Bay one last time in their high school careers they didn’t want it to end in heartbreak again. Del Oro beat the Grizzlies 5-4 on March 20 and is primed for another title run. “We hadn’t felt that since freshman year and it was amazing,” Del Oro senior Brett Bacharach said. “We had been training for that all season and hoping for that since our freshman year, since the last time we beat them. I think they underestimated us and we had been wanting that match for years.” Bacharach is the team's No. 1 singles player and is undefeated on the season. He has committed to play collegiately next season at UC Davis. Granite Bay was the target and the team made it known to first-year head coach Jill Tooker at the beginning of the season. “The first day I came out as coach this year I said, ‘OK guys, what’s your goal?’” Tooker said. “And they said, ‘Oh, we’re beating Granite Bay and we’re going to win the title. You don’t need to worry about anything.’” The fire to beat Granite Bay came out of two seasons of disappointment. The Eagles were the two seed coming out of the SFL in 2010 and lost 5-4 to Vanden in the section quarterfinals. The following year they lost 5-4 to Rio Americano in the semifinals. The Eagles are off to a 4-0 start this season after being rained out of three matches. They host Rocklin at 3:30 p.m. today in what should be the last hurdle in the beginning part of the league schedule. From there, though, the Eagles end the regular season in aggressive form with up to four matches a week for the rest of the season to make up for the rainouts. They will also travel April 12 to Granite Bay in hopes of securing the outright SFL crown. “I think that we all understand that we did beat Granite Bay once but there’s still a lot of league matches left and there’s still section playoffs so we’ve got to keep our focus,” Bacharach said. “Granite Bay is a goal for everyone else because we still might have to play them two more times in league and we could potentially play them in sections again. “The guys know not to get ahead of themselves because when we played Granite Bay we beat them but it was close. We’re staying focused and staying on it because we want to beat them two more times.”