Fielding one of his largest senior teams since he began coaching the Greenwave 12 years ago, John Moore has a good feeling about 2014.
Eight seniors, including two state qualifiers from last season, will lead this year’s club when Fallon begins the fall season in another realigned league. The doubles pair Martin Beyer and Tyler Wood qualified for their second straight state tournament but fell to the same pair for the second year in a row. That same team from Clark ended up winning the state tournament doubles title.
“Make the postseason as a team and win the North,” Moore said about this year’s goals. “This is one of the most solid teams I’ve had in my 11 years from top to bottom.”
With Beyer’s and Wood’s postseason experience, it should carry over to the rest of the team as Fallon has a strong chance to not only qualify for the team tournament this year, but also send other individuals to the state tournament and past the first round.
Wood and Beyer fell in the quarterfinals, 6-1, 6-0, to Chaitanya Ingle and Deric Pang of Clark. Ingle and Pang beat Colin Gerrard and Teagan Pado of Truckee, 6-4, 6-1, for the title.
“They’ve been working as a doubles team since their freshman year and the last two years they made it to state,” Moore said of his senior doubles team. “They have come a long ways since their freshman year.”
Fallon doesn’t play any Division I schools from now on, unless the green and white schedule Reno, for example, for a nonleague match. Instead, Fallon faces nothing but Northern DI-A competition with home-and-away series for the first six weeks before the postseason.
It’s a move that hurts the Greenwave more than it helps.
“When you’re only playing five other schools twice in the league, you don’t get the competition out there,” said Moore, who added that Truckee and South Tahoe continue to be strong every year.
Playing schools in the same division should bode well for the Greenwave as far as wins and losses are concerned, but the few takeaways from playing the bigger schools helped open eyes of what could happen if you never let up on the tennis court.
“We’ve had good turnouts for summer workouts both on the boys and girls sides,” said Moore, who is assisted by longtime coach Tom Nagashima. “With the majority of the kids, they’re in midseason form right now.”
Playing against the best and biggest schools in the region showed the highest level of competition as it helped Fallon realize that with the same hard work and dedication, the players could reach that level. The better players in the region also helped expose flaws for Fallon to work on during practice, just in time the Northern DI-A schedule.
“We might not always beat the Division I schools but we would hang with them. Sometimes we would beat them,” Moore said.
Along with Beyer and Wood, Christian Stadtman, Adam Wadsworth, Dustin Delugg, Joseph Jamieson, Jumel VillaCarlos and Eric Sabatino will graduate after this season.
After the eight seniors, Moore doesn’t have many except for a pair of juniors and freshmen and one sophomore.
Kyle Reed-Mason and Wei Deng are juniors, Cody Morris is the lone sophomore and Thomas Jamieson and Myles Getto are in their first year as freshmen.
Moore figures Wadsworth, VillaCarlos and Jamieson will play singles this season while the rest of the doubles lineup is up in the air. Wadsworth, who is an all-court player with good baseline skills, played on the No. 2 doubles team last year and competed in tournaments during the offseason.
“He’s really coming along from last year,” Moore said. “He’s going to be real solid in the singles spot, which we needed for a couple years. Adam hits pretty hard.”
Like Wadsworth, VillaCarlos played doubles last year with Jamieson and wanted to make the transition to singles.
“They played well together but decided to break up and play singles,” Moore said. “Jumel’s a baseline player with very nice ground strokes. Joseph is our big guy. He moves everywhere, does everything and likes to get to the net.”
With the season opener in sight, Moore feels strongly about this group and hopes for a deep run in the postseason, something this community hasn’t seen from the boys tennis program.
“I’m proud of all kids for their offseason work, just seeing all of them, the returning starters, progress over the years,” Moore said.