Yosemite High School’s tennis team was defeated 5-4 at home by the Dinuba Emperors in the Central Section Division IV championship match Wednesday afternoon.
It was the first time a tennis team at Yosemite, boys or girls, made it to the finals for a section championship, and Dinuba’s first tennis title in school history.
In singles matches, the top two Badger players, Steven Standefer and Cannon Eames, came away with victories, while No. 3 Ian Pincus, No. 4 Tyler Hellwig, No. 5 Burke Stewart, and No. 6 David O’Brien all lost, many by close sets.
In doubles play, the teams of Standefer and Eames, and Pincus and Hellwig won their matchups, but Harrison Thearle and Logan Cacy lost to Dinuba’s No. 1 player Eric Castrejon and No. 8 player Juan Magdaleno.
Badger Head Coach Aaron Eames said Dinuba’s move to place its No. 1 player in a lower-ranked doubles team was questionable, and something he hadn’t seen before in 30 years of coaching.
Outside that, he said he was proud of his team.
“I feel like we had the best team,” Eames said. “I am so proud of these boys and what they’ve done all year.”
“We did an awesome job this year,” added Standefer, a senior. “It’s the best season Yosemite’s ever had. I’m happy. No regrets. This is the best team I’ve ever been on. These guys are my brothers. It’ll be hard to leave, but I’m sure they’re going to do great without me.”
Yosemite, after earning its third straight North Sequoia League title earlier this year, was ranked No. 1 in the division, while Dinuba was No. 2. coming into the match.
For full details, see the May 25 edition of the Sierra Star.