Mustangs may boast best program in coach’s tenure

Posted Monday, Sep. 02, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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As the fall tennis season gets into full swing, coach Angel Martinez said this could be the best program he has ever fielded at Grapevine High School.

The Mustangs tennis squad returns almost every player this from last year's team that reached the regional tournament.

“Things are shaping up really well,” Martinez said. “We had a young team last year, and we have a young team again. We lost two girls and one boys from last year's team, and the entire team is playing well early on.”

Grapevine won district last season and won its first round match in the tournament before losing to Coppell, then the ninth-ranked team in the state.

The Mustangs tennis team is ranked 23rd in the state heading into the season, according to the Texas Tennis Coaches Association.

Martinez said he is expecting big seasons from Octavia Malin, Madison Cless and Samantha Wong on the girls side, and Miha Valencic along with pretty much everyone else on the boys side.

Martinez said that the objectives for this season are two-fold.

“They've changed the system this year, so that we have a bi-district and area round, just like every other sport,” Martinez said. “This is going to be a real challenge for us to get to the regional tournament, because now they don't take 16 teams, they take eight.”

Grapevine's bi-district alignment is with Flower Mound Marcus, Coppell, Flower Mound and Hebron.

“In the bi-district round, we will play one of those teams, so it will not be easy to get to the area round, let alone region,” Martinez said. “Our goal is to win district, but also to make it to the area final. Once we've done that, we are eligible for region.”

Martinez said that, without question, Colleyville Heritage is Grapevine's toughest district opponent once again this season, and Colleyville coach Jeff Matlock said that things are looking good for his team as well.

“We've played a couple of tough teams early on in Marcus and Frisco Wakeland,” Matlock said. “We also picked up a good victory against Arlington Martin on Friday, which was a good win for us. We've got some new faces on the boys side, and things are looking good. The kids have worked hard and seem to be optimistic.”

Matlock said he expects big seasons from Will Folger and Arthur Vij on the boys side, and Kristen Baker and Jordan Martin on the girls side.

Matlock said that he is not wild about the new playoff system, either.

“It's certainly not going to help us get to regionals,” Matlock said. “It's going to make it tougher. We are going to have to play really well to get out and go to Abilene. It will be a tall order, but I would love to see us get to the match where it mattered in terms of qualifying for region.”

Grapevine and Colleyville Heritage squared off on Tuesday, after the publication deadline.

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