The Truckee boys tennis team split last week, beating division rival Sparks and losing to last year's Nevada 4A state champion, Reno High.
The Wolverines did very well against Sparks in its first High Desert League match. The starting nine players came out strong in the first round, winning five of the first six sets. Sparks' No. 1 singles seed had a very strong serve and was very consistent.
While Truckee struggled in each round, losing 4-6, 4-6, 5-7, Mr. Lopez-Espinosa managed to take home three of the four sets against Sparks and won on the day.
Truckee had locked up the victory by the second round of the match, allowing substitutions that included many of its freshman players, including pitting freshman Zach Yamauchi and junior Addison Dvorcek in singles matches, which they won 6-2 and 6-4, respectively.
Doubles saw a new mix-up of partners, as senior Tyler Paladino teamed with Alex Omar to win 6-1. Brandon Flora and French foreign exchange student Raphael Antz won 6-2. Senior Travis Ferre and sophomore Eli Yale took on the No. 1 doubles team to win 6-1. Overall, Truckee dominated the competition, 14-4.
Sweet success didn't last long. Thursday's matchup against Reno challenged Truckee's starters with strong and consistent play across the courts.
“We knew we were going to face perhaps the toughest team in the entire state of Nevada, so we mixed a few things up,” said coach Rick Deeter.
While sticking with its top seed in doubles, Aaron Pado and Grayson Forsberg, Truckee took two of its starting singles players and teamed them up as a doubles team — Branden Deeter and Jake Kamenetsky. Both doubles teams did well against Reno's Nos. 2 and 3 seeds, but failed to steal a set from their No. 1 team.
The only other victory was in singles by Aaron Deeter, taking a match deep into the afternoon with a 6-4 win. There were a few notable battles that came up just short, including Jackson Rohlf and Zach Conradson going all the way to a 6-6 tie and getting edged out 7-5 in the best of 13 tiebreaker.
While Truckee only won five sets and Reno 13, this match was considered one that would give Truckee a look at what a top school from the higher division can bring to the courts.
“We hope we walk away with a few lessons learned and a new appreciation for how much we will need to step it up to win state this year,” said coach Ken Cutler.
Truckee, which competes at North Valleys on Thursday, is now 4-2 on the year.