Girls claim Regionals

Becky Regan
The South Tahoe girls tennis team defeated Fallon 16-2 to claim the Northern Division IA Regional Championships in Reno Friday. The girls now advance to state competion as the No. 1 Northern seed.
Courtesy photo |

The girls tennis team repeated the school history that it wrote last year.

For the second consecutive year, and second time in school history, the South Tahoe girls tennis team captured the Northern Division IA regional title, this time with a 16-2 win against Fallon in Reno Friday. Both the girls and boys teams had already locked up state spots by winning their semifinal regional matches at home Thursday, but both teams were still gunning for that regional title and the No. 1 seed at state that comes with the bragging rights. The girls secured that top seed with the Incline win, but the boys fell to Truckee 12-6 in a close match.

Girls repeat

The defending regional champs didn’t take long to remind everyone just how they earned that title. The girls jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first round.

No. 1 singles player Maggie Lee won her match against No. 1 Fallon player Becky Conner 6-1. No. 2 singles player Kylee Lyons and No. 3 singles player Lissie Stewart both added 6-2 wins to South Tahoe’s undefeated first-round effort.

No. 1 doubles team Sarah Jobbins and Grace Bronken defeated No. 1 Fallon team Josie Bekiares and Hannah Lindsay 6-2. No. 2 doubles team Natalie Allen and Catherine Baghdikian took a 6-0 win, and No. 3 doubles team Ashley Tarwater and Kayla Lyons notched a 6-2 win.

The girls were off to a 6-0 start, and they continued to pile on the points in Round 2.

Lee took her second match 6-0. Kylee Lyons added her second victory win, 6-1, and Caia Enriquez added a 6-4 win against Fallon’s No. 1.

The doubles teams kept up the intensity. Bronken and Jobbins finished the second round ahead 6-0, and Baghdikian and Allen a narrow and hard-fought 7-5 victory.

The Vikings headed into the final round leading 11-1 with the regional title and No. 1 seed locked up. Now the match was just about having fun.

Lee did that with another 6-0 win. The senior had outplayed her opponents 24-1 in her three matches.

Stewart followed suit, breezing to a 6-0 win over Fallon’s No. 2 singles player to go 2-for-2.

The Vikings’ No. 2 singles player, Kylee Lyons, turned on the heat to take a 6-3 win against Conners, Fallon’s No. 1 player.

Abi Killebrew and Mikayla Heffner dropped a hard-fought match.

Truckee bests boys

The boys had to settle for second in the region after a close battle with Truckee, but a trip to Las Vegas and the chance for redemption is a nice consolation.

The Friday match against Truckee was much closer than the final 12-6 score suggests.

“We did not face South Lake Tahoe during the regular season, but their scores against common competitors were nearly identical, suggesting a very tight matchup” said Truckee coach Rick Deeter.

The Truckee Wolverines needed to win one of several key matchups in order to get the edge, and that is exactly what happened.

Truckee’s Teagan Pado and Colin Gerrard bested South Tahoe’s Colton McHugh and Kyle Swain in a tight 6-4 battle in the No. 1-seed doubles match. Truckee’s Aaron Deeter and Ethan Gotts also beat South Tahoe’s Ryan Piazzo and Trevor Garon in the No. 2-seed matchup, 6-1.

Truckee needed its doubles team of Brandon Flora and Eli Yale to beat South Tahoe’s Gabriel Tenocelotl and Daniel Sandborn to gain an early lead, which they did 6-3, making the doubles a clean sweep in round one.

Top seed Nico Gardella faced South Tahoe’s powerhouse singles player, Chad Kaassamani. The set went to a 5-5 tie before Gardella finally got the break and won 7-5, and Truckee’s Toby Zeigler took out the No. 2 seed, Adam Jarrett.

Freshman singles player Loui Marin notched a 6-1 win in the first round, but that was all for South Tahoe. Truckee climbed out to a 5-1 lead.

Kaassamani came back strong and took his second match 6-2 and third match 6-1, but the Wolverines were one step ahead of South Tahoe all day. By the end of the second round, Truckee had expanded that lead to 10-2 with strong doubles performances, assuring the victory.

The third round favored South Tahoe, as its top seeds had the advantage, and the Vikings finished strong.

Kaassamani and Jarrett both took their singles matches, and the Garon-Piazzo duo pulled off a extremely close 7-5 win to end on a good note. Tenocelotl and Janez Desmar added a 6-4 win to give the Vikings a 4-2 finale.

UP NEXT: Both the girls and boys teams head to Las Vegas in two weeks, the girls as the top seed from the north and the boys as the No. 2 seed.

Individual singles and doubles Northern Regional Championships are this Friday and Saturday, hosted at the Tahoe Donner Tennis Center. The first round starts on Friday with the girls doubles at 9 a.m. Singles are at 10:30 a.m., boys doubles at noon, and singles at 1:30 p.m. The quarterfinals will start at 2 p.m. for all players.

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