HIGH SCHOOL TENNIS: Odessa High bounces back with afternoon victory at Basin Brawl - Odessa American: Oavarsity

HIGH SCHOOL TENNIS: Odessa High bounces back with afternoon victory at Basin Brawl

By Tony Venegas tvenegas@oaoa.com, 432-333-7649 | Posted: Friday, August 16, 2019 8:15 pm

Odessa High head tennis coach Katelyn Watts knew something had to change.

After a 10-5 loss to El Paso Franklin in the morning match of the Basin Brawl Tennis Tournament, Watts gave a pep talk focusing on being in the right frame of mind.

That message was well-received by the Bronchos, who defeated El Paso Montwood 14-4 during the second round of the Basin Brawl Tennis Tournament Friday afternoon at the Bob Clark Tennis Center at Odessa High School.

“I think we just needed an attitude adjustment,” Watts said. “If they lost a point, they would dwell on it for the rest of the match.

“I told our team that if they lost a point, just move on to the next one. They had that change of attitude and played well this afternoon.”

Both the Bronchos and the Rams had to battle the weather as well as each other. Temperatures rose above  100 degrees and several of the matches became battles of attrition.

One player who handled the heat well was Odessa High senior Harley Daniels, who took care of business in both of her matches.

Daniels won her doubles match with partner Kayzsa Cox in straight sets (6-1, 6-1) over Valentina Cruz and Camila Carrion. It was her second doubles win of the day after winning 6-1, 7-5 over El Paso Franklin in the morning.

Back to the afternoon, she followed up that triumph with a comfortable victory over Cassie Holguin by the same margin in singles play.

“The strategy was just to make the opponent run,” Daniels said. “I was just trying to make my opponent tired and did well with that.”

Daniels’ play highlighted a banner afternoon for the Lady Bronchos, who swept all nine singles and doubles matches over the Lady Rams.

“I thought the girls played awesome,” Watts said. “They really took the message to heart and showed me something today.”

On the boys’ side, junior Sebastian Mora used experience as his teacher.

Partnering with Juan Diaz in doubles, the duo fell 6-4, 6-1 to Jon Aleman and Steve Terrazas. Mora, however, adjusted in singles and bounced back to defeat Aleman 6-4, 6-4 in singles play to earn his team another point.

“I had to adjust my strategy on the court,” Mora said. “I was facing a left-hander in doubles play and after we lost, I just told myself had to stay patient.

“I didn’t have to hit everything hard to earn a point. I just had to stay patient and wait for my chances.”

His playing partner, Diaz, also found better luck during his match against Steve Terrazas, winning 6-1, 6-3. That match was one of the final three matches done for the day.

Ulysses Alvarez defeated Jaime Torres in straight sets (6-1, 6-3) while Greg Andrade closed things out in a tiebreaker victory over Terrazas (6-4, 5-7, 10-4).

That persistence paid off for the Bronchos, who won 10 of the 12 singles matches against the Rams.

For Watts, having Mora and Daniels step up gave the rest of her team a major boost.

“Harley and Sebastian are two of our team captains and they are the ones that lead by example,” Watts said. “The rest of the team looks up to them and that’s something that going to help us moving forward.”

Odessa High continues the Basin Brawl 8:30 a.m. today with a team match against Midland Lee back at the Bob Clark Tennis Center. The Rebels only played one team match Friday, losing to Lubbock Coronado in the morning but having an afternoon bye.

>> Follow Tony Venegas on Twitter at @OA_TVenegas