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Vikings’ tennis team on a tittle hunt

Jeremy Evans

Two years ago, the South Tahoe High girls’ tennis team was happy with one playoff victory. This year, the Vikings are looking for much more.

South Tahoe opens the Northern 4A regional tournament today against Incline at 3 p.m. at South Tahoe High School. The Vikings (10-1) are the No. 2 seed from the Sierra League and are hosting a first-round playoff match for the third consecutive season.

“I don’t know anything about Incline,” said STHS coach Pat Fagen, whose team’s lone loss this season was to defending Northern 4A champion Reno. “For us, we just have to take it one game at a time. I think the girls are anxious to prove they are the best team. At the end of the week, I think we will come out on top.”

A win over the Highlanders would set up a likely rematch with High Desert regular season champion Galena in the regional semifinals on Thursday. The Vikings defeated the Grizzlies in their season opener – the first time they had ever beaten the perennial power.

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The championship games are scheduled for Friday at the Plumas Tennis Center in Reno. After earning their first-ever playoff win in 2004 – and a second last season – the Vikings believe they could secure one of the region’s two seeds to the 4A state tournament.

For all the expectations surrounding the girls’ program, the South Tahoe boys enter the regional tournament under the radar.

The Vikings are the No. 3 seed and will play at No. 2 seed Bishop Manogue today at 3 p.m. in Reno. McQueen has ended the Vikings’ season the past two years in the first round of the playoffs. However, the Vikings finished the season with three straight wins and have solidified their lineup.

The Northern 4A individual regional tournament begins next week. Since they are a No. 2 seed, the South Tahoe girls qualified three singles and three doubles teams for the tournament. As a No. 3 seed, the South Tahoe boys qualified two singles and two doubles teams.

STHS boys coach Kyle Horvath said last week Jimmy Roberts and Zach Kropf will be the two singles players, while Nick Smith and Tyler Venema and Nik Noomen and Sean Brower will form the two doubles teams.

Fagen said Masha Long and the doubles team of Chela Wahl and Jenny Schmedes have secured two of the team’s six spots at the individual tournament. Long and Wahl and Schmedes are undefeated on the season and will likely be the league’s top seeds next week.


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