South Tahoe tennis doubles team of Vazquez, Lee, win league tournament
The top tennis players in the Class 3A Northern League gathered at Tahoe Donner Tennis Center last Friday and Saturday, Oct. 25-26, to compete for doubles and singles titles.
In boys’ doubles, the No. 1 seed, South Tahoe seniors Travis Lee and Juan Vazquez, closed out their final Northern League tournament as champions.
“It means a lot. I’ve been working hard for it since I was little,” said Vazquez, who has been playing since age 7. “It means a lot to finally get something in the trophy cabinet.”
For Lee, a baseball player, this season marked his first year on the tennis court.
“I started playing with my friends, and then I just decided to join the team,” he said.
In order to claim the league doubles title, Lee and Vazquez defeated sophomore teammates Aidan Walker and Andrew Lehmann, 6-0, 7-6.
“It was pretty cool, honestly,” said Vazquez on playing his teammates. “We’ve always played just to mess around, just not an actual game. It was a good experience.”
The boys’ singles title came down to Churchill County’s Alvaro Trillo and North Valleys’ Jacob Herron. Trillo, who was the top seed coming into the tournament, won the Northern League title, 6-2, 6-1.
Truckee senior Lucas Sortor entered the tournament as the No. 5 seed, but managed to claim third place, topping South Tahoe senior Quinn Proctor, 6-1, 6-0.
“It feels good,” said Sortor, who took third place in last year’s Northern League singles tournament and will represent the Wolverines at this week’s state tournament. “I’m going to do my best and give them a run for their money.”
Local players will next head to Las Vegas for the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Class 3A State Tennis Playoffs. As a team, the Truckee boys will come in as the No. 2 seed and will face No. 1 seed from the Southern League, Boulder City. The Truckee girls are the top seed out of the Northern League and will play the No. 2 seed from the Southern League, Boulder City. The team state semifinals area scheduled to begin on Thursday, Oct. 31.
The state singles and doubles tournament will get underway the following day.
A trio of girls from North Tahoe and Truckee advanced to the finals before claiming their place as Northern League champions.
Following her first regular season of playing at North Tahoe, junior Daniela Christian entered this weekend’s 16-player singles bracket as the girls’ No. 1 seed.
“I felt like there was a target on the back,” said Christian, who moved to the area from New York last summer. “Everyone’s always like, ‘She’s the new girl, she’s the No. 1 seed.’”
Christian rolled through the first two rounds, dropping one game on the way to the finals. She then advanced into the finals the following morning with a 6-3, 6-0 win against South Tahoe junior Sierra Dahl. Christian then took this year’s regional singles title behind a 6-2, 6-1 victory against No. 2 seed, South Tahoe senior Kayla Mason.
“Stepping in and taking those second serves aggressively and trying to put them away,” said Christian on the key to winning the tournament. “And also making sure I get my serves in, being a little less aggressive on my serves but more aggressive on my serve return.”
In girls’ doubles, Truckee seniors Jasmine Posada and Rachel Heath reached the finals as the No. 3 seed. The two started the championship match against top seed, Incline senior Katherine Tong and junior Summer Ferrell, by winning the opening set, 6-2. In the second set, Posada and Heath fell behind 3-0, and then 4-1, before coming back to win the doubles title, 7-5.
“We climbed back up, which was unexpected … We just move on to the next point, no matter how it goes,” said Heath on battling back in the second set.
Coach Henry Ryerson said he believes the doubles title is the first time the girls’ program has won a league championship in singles or doubles.
“It’s really exciting for us because this is the first time that Truckee has gotten a league championship in the individual tournament,” said Posada.
The girls, who are in their first season playing together, will now represent Truckee in Las Vegas at state this week in the team and doubles tournaments.
“I’m so excited for that,” said Posada. “I really love our team this year. Everyone worked so hard and we’re just all going to support each other and have a really good time.”
Both credited coach Ryerson, saying they wouldn’t be playing tennis without him.
“It has been the best sports team I’ve ever been on,” said Heath. “Mainly because of coach Henry.”