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Cota's luck leading to Calexico victories

April 03, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

Much can be said about an athlete having natural ability, but sometimes it doesn't hurt to be a little lucky.

Ask Calexico High School tennis standout Miguel Cota why he's become one of the best Imperial Valley League players and his answer is simple.

"I guess I've just been getting lucky," he will respond.

Quite the understatement, considering how dominant Cota has been this season, particularly last week. In two matches Cota defeated five of his six opponents 6-0, downing the other 6-2. On March 26 he swept Vincent Memorial in a 16-2 Calexico rout. He followed that Wednesday scoring by three points in the Bulldogs' 15-3 hammering of Brawley High.

"I really don't know what it is. I just think I'm lucking out. I've just been swinging the racket and the ball's been going in," said the 17-year-old senior. "I don't go into it trying to shut someone out. It just happens. I try to serve and volley and just beat them at the net. And whatever happens, happens."

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It's been happening a lot for Cota this year. He is 14-1 and has the Bulldogs atop the IVL with a 3-1 league mark, 5-1 overall.

Last year, with the emergence of his younger brother Chris, Miguel was somewhat lost in the shadows. But after a year of growing up on the court, Miguel is as good as he's ever been.

He said he's gotten a lot smarter on the court and isn't making mistakes he would have in years past.

"I'm a lot more consistent this year and overall, just smarter. I'm not trying to rush things or trying to smash the ball and I've noticed shots are going in more," said Cota. "I think being a little bit older and more mature is also making a difference."

What he said is the main difference is he's playing with a carefree attitude and not putting any pressure on himself.

"Now that I'm a senior I'm just having a lot more fun. This is my last year and I really don't have anything to worry about. I'm not stressing about anything and I'm having a good time," he said.

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