Viking tennis advances to state; Individual event begins Friday
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — South Tahoe reached the championship match of the Class 3A Northern League girls tennis playoffs but fell one win shy of bringing home the title.
On back-to-back sunny days, the Vikings beat Wooster 11-7 on Thursday, Oct. 14, and lost to Truckee 13-5 the next day for the league crown.
The Vikings were scheduled to host Wooster in the semifinals but snow forced a location change, fortunately for the Vikings they were able to play at the courts in Zephyr Cove.
The first round of three ended in a 3-3 tie. No. 2 singles player Kiera Lyons earned a key 6-2 victory, Stella Devine also earned a point by rallying for a 6-3 win after being down 3-2 and Soleil Weed and Lauren Romsos earned a 6-3 win for the third point.
South Tahoe grabbed a 7-5 lead after the second round with a pair of doubles teams earning points to help the Vikings take the lead.
Anna Roessler and Danielle Ralston won a tight match 7-5 and Darlene Tumbaga and Luna Melgarejo also played “the best I think they have ever played,” said Vikings head coach Tracey Samoluk.
Wooster won two of the three singles matches in the final round with South Tahoe’s lone point coming from top singles player Kiara Vazquez who recorded a 6-0 win.
With the score 8-7, South Tahoe needed to win two of those matches to secure the victory.
“I will be honest, I was a little nervous going into the third round,” Samoluk said. “Wooster brought their toughest team.”
Needing two wins, South Tahoe swept all three points behind Weed and Romsos, Erin Yamoaka and Nora Stewart and Tumbaga and Melgarejo.
“It was an amazing match.” Samoluk said. “I was so proud of all our three doubles teams out there and the entire team. It was really a team effort.”
In the championship match, Truckee grabbed control from the outset on its home courts, leading 5-1 after the first round.
Vazquez played a tough first round match and pushed her set to a tiebreaker before falling 7-4.
The Wolverines continued to apply pressure by clinching the match with five more points in the second round to lead 10-2. No. 3 Kyla Schrauben beat Truckee’s No. 2 player to earn a point.
“We have some really good days and then some really tough days too,” Samoluk said. “What matters is what you do with those tough days. You get up, learn from those losses, brush yourself off and get back out there to do it all over again.”
The Vikings three singles players will take part in the individual northern championship starting Friday at Tahoe Donner Tennis Center.
Vazquez is the No. 4 seed and will face the top player from Incline Village, Jordan Stevens.
Lyons is the No. 8 seed and will face the top player from North Valleys.
And Schrauben enters unseeded and will try to take down the No. 3 seed from Hug.
Matches start at 10 a.m. The top four advance to the state championships that take place Oct. 28-30 at Liberty and Bishop Gorman high schools in southern Nevada.
The Vikings qualified as a team by finishing second in the regional tournament. They will play the south’s top seed, The Meadows School, at a time to be announced.
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