South Tahoe girls tennis celebrates senior duo, edges Fallon
In its last home match of the regular season, the South Tahoe girls tennis team celebrated seniors Natalie Allen and Catherine Baghdikian — then prevailed over Fallon by the narrowest of margins. Three tiebreaker points were all that separated the two teams at STHS courts Thursday, with the Vikings prevailing 35-32.
In the tiebreaker round, South Tahoe (6-4 Division I-A) got victories from all three singles players — No. 1 Kylee Lyons (7-5), No. 2 Caia Enriquez (7-2) and No. 3 Lyndsey Allen (7-4). Fallon (8-2) had its second match in three days come down to tiebreaker points — the Greenwave edged Truckee 35-33 on Tuesday.
Natalie Allen and Baghdikian delivered South Tahoe’s only two points in doubles on Thursday, bouncing back from a 4-6 defeat with victories of 6-1 and 7-5. The senior duo’s victory in the third round forced the tiebreaker.
On a South Tahoe team otherwise made up of juniors and freshmen, Natalie Allen and Baghdikian entered the season as its unquestioned leaders. Their steady play as the No. 1 doubles team throughout the season was as important as their leadership for a relatively inexperienced team with a first-year head coach.
“They brought a sisterhood to this team,” Vikings head coach Michaela May said. “I’m going to miss them a lot — they’re our No. 1 doubles and I’ve had a connected bond with them.”
Natalie Allen and Baghdikian each played singles in 2013 after two years of partnering together for doubles. May decided to have them team up again for the 2014 season.
“They’re really good at communicating with one another — they talk and when they have good shots, they hit rackets,” May said. “They’re really good at communicating, they’re really good friends and they’re just a good doubles team altogether.”
In Thursday’s win, South Tahoe took seven of the nine singles sets led by a 6-3, 6-0, 6-0 sweep from Lyons. Enriquez won two of her three sets with scores of 6-4, 6-0 and 4-6, and Lyndsey Allen delivered wins in the first and third rounds with scores of 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.
In doubles, the Vikings went winless in the No. 2 and No. 3 spots against Fallon. At No. 2, Gabriella Fisher and Mikayla Heffner were defeated in the first and second rounds, and Fisher teamed with Kayla Smith for a loss in the third round.
In the No. 3 doubles spot, Abby Burns and Allyson Crowell paired in the first and third rounds with scores of 2-6 and 3-6. Cromwell teamed with Theresa Sandborn in the middle round for an 0-6 loss.
South Tahoe begins postseason play next week after earning a playoff spot in Division I-A. NIAA Northern Region team play begins Tuesday, Oct. 7.