Tennis: The Balers’ undefeated duo

San Benito's Cathy Frusetta has been a steadying presence at the No. 2 singles position this season.

Less than a year ago, Cathy Frusetta and Berenice Bribiesca were only hoping to contribute to the San Benito tennis team in 2011. For Bribiesca, now a senior, it was her first year playing tennis. Frusetta, meanwhile, was trying to gain experience in exhibition matches.

But after the 2012 Balers’ seventh league match against Watsonville on Tuesday, Frusetta and Bribiesca are making a big impact.

Just a week ago, the pair was named the team’s No. 1 doubles team. And with victories over Monterey and Watsonville during the week, Bribesca and Frusetta are now 7-0 inside the Monterey Bay League’s Gabilan Division.

“At the start of the season, they were no. 2,” head coach Ed Cecena said. “It’s been a pleasant surprise. Our doubles (teams) have really improved. At the beginning of the season, as a coaching staff, we were worried. But they seem to be getting stronger. They are winning their fair share of matches.”

And during a 5-2 record inside league play, winning has been a constant theme. Along with Bribiesca and Frusetta, No. 4 singles player Amanda Alvarez has also gone 7-0 inside the MBL. No. 3 player Kelsey Slavich has only one loss on her record.

“In our wins, it’s always someone else that comes up with that big win,” Cecena said. “Everyone is sharing the load and having their moment … Everyone is having their chance to shine. Which is nice.”

After a tough loss to Monterey on Monday, the Balers rolled over Watsonville at the Ridgemark Tennis Center on Tuesday.

Bribiesca and Frusetta started the winning run for San Benito, winning 6-0, 6-0. The match was a microcosm of how well the pair plays with each other. Bribiesca hovered around the net waiting for a quick strike, while Frusetta ran around the back of the court, cleaning up missed shots.

“We have our strengths and weaknesses,” Bribiesca said. “She backs me up all the time. Whatever I can’t do she does it and whatever she can’t do I do it. So we are prefect for each other. We’ve been undefeated. That proves that we are good.”

In a sense, the two are opposites on the court.

“We foil each other really well,” Frusetta said. “We are kind of like opposites in a way. I hit kind of consistently and Bere hits really hard. And it works.”

After learning how to play the game a year ago, the two have excelled as partners.

“We know how to communicate when we are on the court,” Bribiesca said. “We talk about every point we are going to make. Every step we are going to go though to get the point. We just know. We just plan it out how we are going to play.”

Despite a great year so far, the pair isn’t done, they said.

“It just feels good to be here,” Frusetta said. “We still want to stay undefeated and so far we have achieved it.”

They weren’t the only tennis players to find success on Tuesday, as the Balers beat Watsonville 6-1.

No. 1 singles player Audrey Marshall followed a tough loss Monday with a dominant 6-0, 6-1 victory to close out the San Benito victory. Slavich and Alvarez also won for San Benito in two sets.

On the doubles side, Annie Tobias and Gianna Brigantino won 6-1, 6-0 and Kiley Fontaine and Gwendolynn Fernstrom won 6-0, 6-1.

With a 5-2 record in league, the win puts the Balers in a good position to make a run at a Central Coast Section berth, Cecena said.

“We are where we want to be,” Cecena said. “We are giving ourselves a chance to compete of the league title. We’ve had a couple of setbacks but you just have to win every match you can and keep building confidence.”

He continued: “I’ve been telling the girls, we have to keep our eyes on the prize. If you don’t win the league, you can still come in second … even if we don’t’ win league not all is loss. We have to keep our eye on going to playoffs.”


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