Vikings advance to regional finals, cement state
This year the Vikings are making it to state together.
Both the boys and girls tennis teams locked up their state spots with semifinal wins at regionals Thursday at South Tahoe High School.
The two top regional teams automatically earn a spot in the approaching state competition in Las Vegas.
The boys beat North Tahoe 17-1, and the girls followed up with a 15-3 win against Incline. With the wins, both teams advance to the regional championships in Reno where the boys will face Truckee and the girls Fallon as they try to pick up the No. 1 seed to state.
Boys breeze into finals
There was no doubt the South Tahoe boys were there to win from the moment they stepped on the court Thursday.
The Vikings won all six of their matches, three singles and three doubles in the first round.
No 1 singles player Chad Kaassamani and No. 1 doubles team Colton McHugh and Kyle Swain both picked up 6-1 wins. Singles players Adam Jarrett notched a 6-0 win and Louie Marin fought for a 7-6 win.
Senior doubles players Trevor Garon and Ryan Piazzo added a 6-1 win, and doubles team Gabriel Tenocelotl and Janez Demsar won 6-0.
For seniors Kaassamani, McHugh, Swain, Garon and Piazzo this would be there last time on the South Tahoe court, and they were going out strong.
“I’ve appreciated their dedication and willingness to develop themselves along with the team,” coach Justin Clark said of the five seniors, “And they’ve taken this team to the next level to compete with Vegas teams. It’s always nice to have a strong group of seniors to lead this relatively young group of players.”
Kaassamani won his second match by default and third 6-0. Swain and McHugh went on to win both their remaining matches 6-0.
Rounding out the singles results, Jarrett picked up a 6-0 win and win by default.
On the doubles front, Piazzo and Garon won their final two home matches 6-0. Tenocelotl teamed up with Daniel Sandborn and then Hawley Jarrett to win the final two rounds.
All of them earned a spot at state with the effort.
GIRLS FOLLOW WITH WIN
The girls met business when they took the court after the boys.
“The team wanted this so badly,” No. 1 singles player Maggie Lee said.
The girls have been talking state since day one so with the Vegas trip on the line the Vikings brought their A Game.
South Tahoe won all six matches in Round 1. Lee, who as a senior will be making her third trip to state, snagged a 6-2 win in the first round. She went on to claim the next match 6-1 and the final round by default.
No. 1 senior doubles team Sarah Jobbins and Grace Bronken posted resounding 6-0, 6-1 and 6-0 wins.
Fellow senior doubles team of Ashley Tarwater and Kayla Lyons mirrored the effort with 6-0, 6-2 and 6-0 victories.
Senior singles player Lissie Stewart played her strongest tennis of the season. She finished with a 6-1 win over Incline’s No. 2 seed.
“It took a minute to get warmed up and realize it was my last game on this court, but once I realized, I had a lot of motivation and played hard,” Stewart said.
For Stewart, Lee, Bronken, Jobbins, Tarwater and Kayla Lyons they made their last moments count.
The younger players stepped up their game too.
Singles player Kylee Lyons was undefeated with a 6-0 win in the first round.
Doubles team Katherine Baghdikian and Natalie Allen went 2-for-2 with a 6-1 and 6-0 win.
Mikayla Heffner and Abi Killebrew battled out a tough tiebreaker to the bitter end.
Both teams now head to the Northern Division IA Regional Championships in Reno Friday. The boys will face Truckee and the girls Fallon with the No. 1 seed on the line.
“We all want it, and we all know what we need to do,” Lee said.
The Vikings will travel to state next week for individual competition. Team competitions will be the following week.
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