Even though the Indians (16-1) — ranked No. 6 in the final Division II poll — had their problems Thursday, they were able to notch the program’s first playoff victory in decades.
“I don’t even know when the last time the boys’ team won a playoff game,” Bernhardt said. “If they did win one, it has been a very long time.”
The Indians will continue their postseason run at 3 p.m. today with a second-round match at Palm Springs.
Palm Springs, the No. 2 team from the Desert Valley League, had a close win in its opener against Rancho Cucamonga, taking the match in games, 9-9 (85-75).
“I don’t know a thing about Palm Springs,” Bernhardt said. “But it will probably be very hot [since] we have to play at their place.”
With one of its top players a bit under the weather and others admitting they didn’t not play their best Thursday, Burroughs was still able to jump to a 5-1 lead after the first round.
“I was not playing my best, and some of our other guys are not playing their best either,” No. 2 singles player Robert Henry said. “It’s just not a good day for us.”
Despite downplaying his performance, Henry, a freshman, swept his three sets, 6-3, 6-2, 6-0, as the Indians won seven of nine in singles.
Although Bernhardt said No. 1 singles Trevor Campbell was not feeling well, the sophomore battled to sweep his sets, 6-3, 6-3, 7-5.
Unfortunately for the Indians, their doubles weren’t as successful. Only the team of Andre Yanez and Jay Chung was able to win two sets, as the duo went, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2.
“For me, it was really nerve-wracking when we first started,” said No. 3 singles player Melik Nazliyan, who won one set, 6-3. “I was just real nervous. It was bad.”
The Indians qualified for the postseason after capturing the Pacific League championship. It was the program’s first title in 23 years.