South Tahoe boys tennis falls to Boulder City in 3A State semifinals, ending historic season |

South Tahoe boys tennis falls to Boulder City in 3A State semifinals, ending historic season

Anthony Gentile
South Tahoe junior Mickey Sullivan (left) and senior Jonathan LaRue (right) exchange a handshake after winning a point against Boulder City in the 3A State semifinals Thursday, Oct. 20, at Reno Tennis Center.
Anthony Gentile / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

RENO, Nev. — One of the best seasons in the history of the South Tahoe boys tennis program came to an abrupt end in the state tournament Thursday, Oct. 20. The Northern Region champion Vikings fell 12-6 to South second seed Boulder City (Nev.) 12-6 in the 3A State semifinals at Reno Tennis Center.

“Everything was positive,” Vikings coach Will Davenport said. “Anytime you get to the state tournament it’s going to be tough.”

South Tahoe (12-1) trailed 5-1 after the first round Thursday, a deficit ultimately too big to overcome. Boulder City (13-1) dominated singles in the first two rounds, and won a handful of close doubles sets to hand the Vikings their first defeat of the season.

“We were in all the matches,” Davenport said. “There was nobody that blew us off the court.”

The Vikings’ best performance in the match came from their No. 1 doubles team of Jonathan LaRue and Mickey Sullivan. The senior-junior tandem swept its sets 6-0, 6-0, 6-3 against the Eagles, accounting for half of the team’s points in the process.

“They play with a lot of power and aggressiveness,” Davenport said. “They just kind of overpowered everybody — big serves, big returns, getting up to the net and putting the ball away.”

Neither South Tahoe’s No. 2 doubles team of Quinn Proctor and Peter Sullivan nor its No. 3 doubles team of Jackson Kuzmik and Bryin Schouten could break through for a victory against Boulder City. Kuzmik and Schouten were coming off a marathon match in the 3A Northern Region semifinals the day before that lasted more than three hours.

“It was kind of hard for them to get back up today,” Davenport said. “They struggled a little bit, but the fact that they came out and fought — they played tough.”

On the singles side, No. 3 Hawley Jarrett was the only Viking to deliver a win in the first two rounds — the senior finished with scores of 2-6, 6-4, and 6-7 (8). No. 1 singles Matthew Barnett lost 5-7, 2-6 and No. 2 Louis Marin had a pair of 1-6 defeats before each being subbed for the third round.

“They had two singles players that we couldn’t match up with,” Davenport said. “We were losing points with our best players, and that changes the dynamic of the match.”

Barnett came up just short in his first round set that lasted more than an hour, a result that South Tahoe needed to stay within reach of the Eagles. In the third round, substitutes Sam Satin (6-4) and Kailer Womack (6-2) each delivered victories for the Vikings.

“We can build the program back up and we know what we can aim for,” Davenport said. “There’s a possibility in the future of beating teams like that.”

The Vikings’ first loss of 2016 brought an end to a stellar campaign. South Tahoe finished undefeated on the way claiming the league and regional championships — and dominated the opposition throughout the season.

“It was a great year,” Davenport said. “These kids accomplished so much.”

In team play, Thursday’s state semifinal match marked the last action as Vikings for LaRue, Kuzmik, Jarrett, Barnett, Marin and Satin. Those six seniors have played key roles for South Tahoe throughout their careers on the hard court.

“In the three years I’ve been coaching, I’ve had these guys and I’ve depended on them,” Davenport said. “I’m going to miss watching them play — they’re six guys that won a lot of matches for us.”

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