By Jeff Odom
The Wiregrass Ranch boys tennis team has cruised to wins in each of its matches this season, and its home meeting with Land O’ Lakes March 14 was no different.
The host Bulls (14-0) defeated the Gators (5-2) 7-0 to continue their Sunshine Athletic Conference (SAC) dominance, where they are 69-1 the last five plus seasons. Land O’ Lakes was the last Pasco County team to beat Wiregrass Ranch.
“We’re going through five years and the only team that’s beaten us is Land O’ Lakes, so it meant a little bit more to our players,” said Bulls coach Dave Wilson. “Once we stepped out onto the court, our focus was fantastic today, not giving up the whole way.”
Bulls’ No. 1 Courage Okungbowa led the way in his singles match by toppling sophomore David Dollbaum 6-0, 6-0.
Okungbowa dominated his counterpart with a powerful forehand and took advantage of Dollbaum’s multiple service errors. He allowed the Gators’ No. 1 just five points in 12 games.
“I was just really focused out there,” Okungbowa said. “I played (Dollbaum) last year and it was as successful as last year, so I was feeling pretty confident, and I knew that I had to just stay focused and maintain that focus for the entire match.”
Land O’ Lakes was at a disadvantage before the match began, as No. 2 Chris Mo was not allowed to make the trip because of undisclosed disciplinary reasons, according to third-year coach Jasalyn Gerazounis.
Samvit Iyer was bumped up to face Wiregrass Ranch’s No. 2 Augustin Moreno. The Bulls’ freshman swept Iyer, who said he was nervous about facing such a good team.
“It doesn’t matter if I’m playing their No. 2 or No. 3, they’re all really good,” Iyer said. “Watching these kids play, it’s really amazing to see how good they all are, and it’s definitely a good learning experience.”
Gerazounis said playing an experienced team like Wiregrass Ranch is helpful for her young squad.
“Kids tend to play up when they play better players, and I think this helps them improve their skills when they have someone to watch,” Gerazounis said.
While Wilson is encouraged by his team’s success, he would like to see how it fares against tougher opponents going into districts.
“We’re 14-0 and every match we’ve played has been 7-0, so we’re hoping we’ll have a much, much more difficult match … that will get us ready for districts and regionals and hopefully states,” Wilson said. “There’s no question it’s what we need as a team to do that.”
The Bulls traveled to Jesuit March 18, but results were not available by press time.
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