The play of Glenn Hull, the No. 1 singles player for the Davis High boys tennis squad, was calm — but not complacent — in his matchup with an opponent from Turlock on Monday.
And this was further evidenced by him being neither drenched in sweat nor panting for breath as he exited the court at the Community Park Tennis Complex with a 6-0, 6-0 win under his belt.
That narrative was consistent with the rest of the Blue Devils, who went on to sweep the Bulldogs, 9-0, in a Sac-Joaquin Section Tournament quarterfinal.
Most pleasing to head coach Dale Hersch wasn’t that his DHS boys defeated their opponents so handily — although that was a nice bonus — but rather that they reserved enough energy for the rest of the SJS championship tourney.
If the Devils are to win the section title, Monday’s victory will be the first of a stretch of three matches in three days, culminating with a title contest on Wednesday.
On Monday, Davis No. 2 Andrew Dumit and No. 6 Kenneth Chow also captured their singles matches 6-0, 6-0 and No. 3 Isaac Yee held off a Bulldog intent on battling back, winning 6-1, 6-2.
Normally a doubles player, Sean Mishra continued the DHS dominance by claiming a 6-0, 6-1 victory. That score was matched by No. 5 Tris Dutta to round out singles play.
Having already assured a triumph, standouts Scott Lucio and Dan Segedin sweetened the deal with a 6-1, 6-0 in the top doubles spot.
Manraj Gill and Bob Li earned a modest (only by comparison) 6-3, 6-2 win, while Sam Yoder and Brandon Zhu finalized the sweep with a 6-0, 6-0 victory at No. 3 doubles.
“The score indicates we did everything we’re supposed to do,” Hersch said. “There’s always more, especially given how much exponentially harder the competition will get.”
That begins Tuesday as the Blue Devils will host Oak Ridge — an 8-1 winner over Modesto on Monday — just after 3:30 p.m.
“They’re a top-heavy team,” Hersch said. “Their No. 1 player is a higher rank than Hull, and their No. 2 player is as strong as Dumit. But then slowly, as you move down the ladder, we’re just stronger overall.
“I need the 4, 5 and 6 (ranked) singles to play well. We need those wins. We need to be ready for the game that Oak Ridge is bringing.”
And after that, he added, longtime rivals Jesuit likely await the hometown heroes in Wednesday’s finals. It will be the 11th consecutive Davis appearance in the championship match, where the locals hope to earn their fifth consecutive title.
The fact that three Devils are out with injuries will make the task difficult, but Hersch remains confident that DHS’ depth will allow it to prevail:
“It’s not going to hurt us that much, because we just have a lot of players that can step right in. I don’t see (the result) being any different this year.”
— Reach Brett Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-747-8052. Follow him on Twitter at @ReporterBrett