By Ausja Nolan
A sweep of Wheaton College served as a tune-up game for the Riverside City College men’s tennis team.
It was a blowout, the players agreeing that Wheaton was not the strongest team but a good warmup for the game to come on March 17.
The Tigers still wanted to play hard despite the lack of competition.
“(The) opponents weren’t that strong. Not weak, but not the strongest,” sophomore Anant Bhiak said. “Me and Austin (Harvill) got the job done.”
His teammates follow the same ideology.
“Wheaton is one of the less challenging teams but I don’t believe there is such a thing as an easy match. Everyone is out here trying to win,” sophomore Noah Canones said. “We had a slow start about halfway through the match. Me and my partner Raphael (Delente) were really aggressive and we were able to come back from our breakdown.”
Canones won his doubles match despite playing with an injured wrist. He had it iced up after he played and fortunately was able to rest by not partaking in the singles matches.
Overall the team felt good about its play, helping build confidence for the rest of the season.
“I felt amazing. I was playing very well,” freshman Emilio Real said. “And I think everyone on the team did great today.”
With the second game of a back-to-back coming up, RCC must recover and prepare quickly.
“Our next match is going to be very tough, so I expect myself to perform at a high level,” Real said. “I feel great playing back to back games. this is what I’m prepared for, physically and mentally.”
With the lack of competition and consecutive days of playing, the Tigers played their substitutes in the singles matches.
“It felt pretty good. It was a solid game.” Gabriel Castellanos said. “Overall the team took over like always.”
He also is excited to potentially play in both games of the back-to-back.
The Tigers will continue their homestand by taking on the Rhodes College Lynx on March 17 and Orange Coast College on March 21.