Berkeley High boys tennis coach Dan Seguin didn’t mean it as a knock on his opponents when he announced that he would field several junior varsity players against league rival Granada today. In fact, with Berkeley’s depth, facing the JV ’Jackets may not be such a different experience from facing any other school’s varsity.
Encouraged by a 9-0 sweep of Livermore last Thursday, in which JV players filled in at every position, Seguin decided to reward their support of the varsity once again by matching them up against the winless Matadors. No. 2 varsity singles player Patrick Hamilton and two varsity doubles teams are still expected to play, hoping to gain momentum for Thursday’s considerably more daunting matchup with Foothill.
“They all want to play. I don’t want to keep any varsity out that needs to play,” Seguin said at Monday’s practice. “It was nice seeing the JV jump in (against Livermore). They’re ready to go, I feel confident playing any lineup.”
With a good league record and an impressive array of non-league wins – including a defeat of James Logan High – Berkeley hopes it has done enough to attract NCS attention despite its second-place status in the EBAL. Because the team’s last two games may be its most important in terms of impressing the NCS selection committee, Seguin is careful not to overlook even a notoriously weak team like Granada.
“I want to approach it the same as any other match,” the BHS coach said. “They have a good 1-2, and they’re definitely better than Livermore. We’ve got to work on closing, and playing more balls in the air – not giving the other team time to set up.”