TIgers take a liking to Vikings’ new tennis courts | TahoeDailyTribune.com

TIgers take a liking to Vikings’ new tennis courts

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor
South Tahoe High senior Phillip Gaston tracks down a shot in the corner during a singles match against Douglas on Thursday in South Lake Tahoe.

The Douglas Tigers took to South Tahoe High’s new tennis courts Thursday like they were their own.

Douglas stormed to a 5-1 opening-round lead and never looked back in a 13-5 boys’ tennis triumph over the Vikings.

“It was a nice icebreaker because it’s the middle of the season, and it’s time to go, guys,” said South Tahoe coach Justin Clark. “They think they are doing pretty well, but as soon as you think that, wham.

“We can compete with this team, but Douglas coach Rod Smith came out with his team fired up.”

Only doubles partners Colton Marchesseault and Kolton Van Pelt were able to break the Tigers’ first-round stranglehold and win a match. It didn’t come easily, though.

Marchesseault and Van Pelt lost a grip on a 4-3 lead to Shane Patton and Grant Mason by dropping a game in which they lead 40-love. The Tigers’ duo used the momentum change to take a 5-4 lead.

But Marchesseault and Van Pelt demonstrated similar moxie, rallying from 15-40 in game 11 to take a 6-5 lead. Mason and Patton, however, broke Marchesseault’s serve to set up a tiebreaker.

After falling behind 4-2, Marchesseault took over, smashing several points in the 7-5 tiebreak victory.

“When (Colton) hits an overhead, there’s no one who has come even close to hitting it harder,” Smith said.

“I feel sorry for that tennis ball.”

It was only Patton and Mason’s third defeat of the season.

“It is what we needed,” Clark said. “We needed a team to fight through, break through and win a match.”

The Vikings’ top doubles team also rallied to win their second match, recovering from a 3-0 deficit to win 6-4, and closed out their perfect day with a 6-0 win.

Van Pelt and Marchesseault are 18-0 in doubles matches this season. Teammates Gregory Baghdikian and Grant Jones also entered the day unbeaten but dropped two of their three matches to the Tigers.

Douglas won eight of the nine singles matches as the return of James TenBroeck made a difference. TenBroeck lost only one game in his three matches.

South Tahoe’s final win was posted by No. 1 singles player Phillip Gaston, a 6-0 winner in the third round.

The Vikings (4-2) play host to Galena on Tuesday.

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