Roberts places fourth at state |

Roberts places fourth at state

South Tahoe High School senior Jimmy Roberts had two more run-ins in with Stan Breland and Jeff Mullen this past weekend in Las Vegas. Unfortunately for Roberts, they both ended in defeat.

Breland, the defending state champion from Canyon Springs, defeated Roberts 6-2, 6-1 on Saturday morning in the semifinals of the 4A state tournament, then Mullen beat Roberts 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 in the third-fourth place match later in the day at the Darling Tennis Center.

Breland has eliminated Roberts each of the past three seasons, including the past two years in the semifinals. Roberts finished third last year in state.

He almost did again this year, but Mullen had other plans. After losing the first set to Roberts, the 6-foot-7 junior from Reno High School won two straight to take third place.

Mullen beat Roberts in the Northern 4A regional tournament championship earlier this month and has a 4-3 record against him during his high school career. Roberts beat Mullen in last year’s regional title match.

Breland, though, didn’t defend his state title as Green Valley’s Evan Song won the 4A state title with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Breland in Saturday’s championship match.

In the girls’ doubles tournament, Clark’s sister team of Iesha and Natasha James beat South Tahoe’s Chela Wahl and Kenzie Usher 6-1, 6-0 in the quarterfinals on Friday. The James sisters went on to win the state title on Saturday, posting a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Silverado’s Kristen and Nicole Santero in the championship game.

Wahl and Usher were the first STHS doubles team to qualify for the state tournament under coach Pat Fagen, who is in his seventh year with the program.

Northern region teams only won three of 12 matches in Friday’s quarterfinals. Other than Mullen and Roberts, only Galena’s doubles team of Collin Davis and Gavin Deller advanced to the semifinals.

Davis and Deller lost in the state championship match to Bonanza’s Aushush Daulat and Andrew Whiting. Palo Verde won the boys’ team championship, while Gorman won the girls’ team championship.

– Jeremy Evans

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