The Davis High boys’ tennis team cruised to a 9-0 victory over Franklin on Monday, earning its third Delta Valley Conference win of the year.
The Blue Devils also have a matchup against Deer Valley on Tuesday, but forgive them if they are looking ahead.
Coming quickly into DHS’ view is the prestigious DecoTurf High School Tennis Championships set for later this week in Louisville, Ky. Devil coach Dale Hersch and his top six singles players — Glenn Hull, Andrew Dumit, Isaac Yee, Isaac Zhang, Phil Glazer and Sean Mishra, who are all seniors — will head to the invitational on Thursday with a match scheduled for Friday morning.
When Hersch received word that the Devils were one of 16 teams invited, the overwhelming response from coach and players was a huge yes.
“You know, I’ve had these guys for the last four years, and there aren’t many tournaments of this quality,” Hersch said. “We’re losing 13 players to graduation next year. I just want to celebrate the last four years: they’ve been great.”
The Blue Devils have some experience with events of this type, having played in the High School All-American tournament at Corona del Mar High. In this event, Hersch expects to see plenty of private school teams, which will have recruited great players from their respective regions:
“I’m expecting a very similar structure as the Corona del Mar tournament. There will be very few elite teams, and the rest of the teams will be very strong,” he said. “I think we’ll fall somewhere in the middle. We have a good team; there’s only about a half-dozen teams in California who can really play with us.”
However, DHS’ No. 1 singles player for the fourth straight season — Hull — is questionable for the Kentucky tournament with a back injury that his kept him out for the past few weeks.
“I think that Glenn might be the best player who has played at DHS,” Hersch said. “He’s won an individual section title (in 2012) and he has helped us win three of our last four section titles. I talked to his parents and he’s going to rest up for (the next few days). If he can play on Friday and Saturday, great. If he can only play one day, that’s great, too. But I’m not going to force him to play if he’s gonna be at risk for injury.”
With his team chasing its fifth straight Sac-Joaquin Section championship, and its 10th overall — which would give DHS one more than rival Jesuit — Hersch said playing in the DecoTurf tournament can only help get the Devils ready:
“We don’t play in a very strong league and our section isn’t really that strong either. To prepare for sections, we have to play the best teams we can find; we have to go seek matches, and if we’re playing some of the best teams in the South and Midwest regions, I think those matches will prepare us for sections.”
Notes: The parents of the six Blue Devil players paid for the plane tickets. The team paid for the hotels. … To help defray costs even more, DHS is hosting a fundraiser tournament on April 20. The parent-child, round-robin doubles event will have recreational, intermediate and advanced divisions. … In Kentucky, the Blue Devils will open against Deerfield High at 9 a.m. on Friday.