Vikings fall a half-point short against Carson |

Vikings fall a half-point short against Carson

Gary Kank

A half of a point.

That was all that separated the Carson Senators and the South Tahoe Vikings as Carson came out on top 11.5 to 11 in Nevada 4A tennis Thursday at South Tahoe High School.

In a match that saw momentum go from one side of the net to the other, it all came down to a third round doubles game to decide the victors.

The Vikings top-seeded doubles duo of Chelsea Grabham and Saline Hancock took the court and got into an old-fashioned battle with Carson.

With points changing hands like booming groundstrokes change sides of the court, the game finally came down to a tie-break.

Backed up on game point in the tie-break, the Vikings were unfortunately not able to return a shot that deflected off the net and hit Hancock in the stomach and fell to a 6-7 defeat.

“It was a real tight one,” Viking coach Sabrina Zalles said of the final game. “The girls were disappointed, but I was proud of the way they played.”

Zalles had every right to be proud, as she saw her girls notch many impressive wins.

Top-seeded singles player Kelly Haslam won all three of her matches 6-1, 6-2 and 6-3, while team captain Larissa LaRue won two out of three 6-4, 6-0 and 2-6. And third seed Sam Crossin, who was battling a cold, stepped up huge with 6-1, 6-1 and 6-0 victories.

On the doubles side, Crystal Gibbons and Christina Ford also notched a big 6-3 win in their third round match.

Even with the loss the team is still pretty confident that they will be going to the team zone tournament, which gets underway today in Reno.

“I’m pretty sure we made it,” Zalles said.

The girls were fired up about the opportunity to continue their season.

“It’s so exciting,” LaRue, a junior said. “We made it my freshman year and we didn’t make it last year, but it looks like we’re gonna do it this year … I’m so excited.”

Grabham, a senior was also fired up.

“I’m really excited,” she said. “Zone is a lot of fun and if we win one or two, then we get a trip to Las Vegas (for state).”

At press time it wasn’t know which teams had qualified for the zone tournament.

The South Tahoe boys tennis team came away from their Nevada 4A match at Carson High with the exact opposite outcome as the girls, defeating the Senators 11.5 -11.

“It was a complete team effort today,” Viking coach Pat Fagen said.

Carrying the Vikings to victory was the outstanding singles play of Corrie Lindsey and Chris Filipko, who won all six of their matches.

The doubles duo of Parker Alexander and Garrett Moulton won two out of three matches 6-3, 6-3 and 2-6 and the second-seeded pairing of Mikey Ledesma and Jason Schmedes notched a big 6-2 victory.

But by far the story of the day came from the racket of 4-foot-11 singles player Marcale “Shaq” Jones.

“Shaq,” the Vikings’ No. 3 seed, sealed up the Vikings victory with a huge 6-4 win over the Senators No. 1 seed.

“It was amazing,” Fagen said. “He went out and played real smart; he basically won the match for us.’

With the win, the regular season came to a close and the Viking secured a top-three seed at the zone tournament.

Fagen was elated with his team’s success.

“This was supposed to be a rebuilding year,” Fagen said. “The kids are really fired up and their coming together … I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

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