Tennis teams open seasons

While the school year hasn’t started yet, the team tennis season is already underway and two Laredo schools have started the year with clean sheets.

The United Longhorns are coming off a season in which they earned a berth to the regional semifinals where they lost to Austin-area powerhouse Lake Travis.

The Longhorns started off their year with two wins Tuesday as they defeated Zapata 16-3 and Roma 17-0.

“It was good experience for us today,” United head coach Mark Collins said. “Zapata was a good team for us to play, they always have some good players. Roma is young and in a rebuilding year.”

United lost star singles player Bernie Clemente to graduation as he signed to play tennis at Southwestern. It also lost several key girls players and will be running out a lot of inexperienced seniors in singles play on the boys side.

But so far the Longhorns are playing well as they head down south for further action later this week.

“Looking forward to our matches in The Valley this weekend,” Collins said.

The United South Panthers also started their season this week as they took on Cigarroa on Monday and defeated the Toros 18-1.

“Throughout the summer these kids have demonstrated that success is no accident,” United South head coach Alex Guerra said. “It takes hard work, perseverance, sacrifice and a true love for the sport. Day in and day out, they have been willing to practice longer and work harder.”

The Panthers had a good showing at the end of the year last season during the individual season with deep runs in girls doubles as well as mixed doubles and they hope to build on that success in 2022.

Thursday will bring with it a test though as they will take on a Zapata team, that while it lost to United convincingly, consistently puts talented players on the court and presents tough challenges for opponents.

“We are looking forward to hosting Zapata on Thursday,” Guerra said. “I’m looking forward to a great season. Hard work pays off.”

The Lyndon B. Johnson Wolves also played Tuesday and were able to get their first win of the season taking down Roma 10-9.

Following that victory though they struggled against Zapata as the Hawks defeated them 19-0. LBJ also had some good success towards the end of the year last season and they were pleased to see how they started despite the tough loss to Zapata.

“Our first matches of the year we are seeing a lot of good things from our young team,” LBJ head coach Patrick Nava said. “Always room for improvement.”

The Wolves follow up their matches Tuesday by hosting Eagle Pass CC Winn later this week and Los Fresnos and Hanna on Saturday.

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