It's a little early in the season for a young team to face its stiffest challenge.
But the Carson boys tennis team faced just that Thursday when it hosted perennial state power Reno at Centennial Park. Despite losing to Reno 17-5 1-2, Carson still had its share of encouraging performances.
Leading the way for Carson was No. 1 singles player Josh Brekken, who swept his matches 6-2, 6-2, 6-0 to run his season record to 11-1.
"Josh Brekken again, of course, was solid," Carson Coach Jeff Evans said.
Evans said the goal now is to place second in the Sierra League behind Reno and qualify for the Northern Nevada zone playoffs. He also said Brekken and Andy Araza should both have a chance to advance to the zone individual championships in singles.
Araza had an encouraging effort against Reno, winning one match 6-4 and taking two games from Reno's No. 1 singles player before losing 2-6.
Another encouraging effort came from Carson's No. 3 doubles team, Zach Caron and Jeff Knause. Caron and Knaus actually had a moral victory against a doubles team that featured arguably the state's best player, Dan Scafidi. Caron and Knause took one game before losing 1-6.
Caron and Knause were also competitive in their other two matches, losing 6-7 (8-10) and 5-7 for Carson (2-2, 1-1).
"They're playing so well together," Evans said. "I'm real pleased with their progress."
Carson's other highlight came when Jon McDonald and Gideon Hermanns won 6-4.
"A little early for this quality of tennis," said Evans about facing Reno this early in the season. "They're just real deep.
"You always expect this from Reno. You've got to be 100 percent on your game."
Overall, Evans said he's pleased with the development of his team.
"We're definitely showing some improvement," he said. "We've got good kids that work hard."