A win that would clinch a playoff berth was almost taken for granted by the Carson High girls tennis team.
But the Senators can't be blamed for looking ahead to what will be their biggest match of the season.
"I assumed that we would win," said Carson coach Diane Baker about Tuesday's 16.5-6 victory over North Valleys at Centennial Park.
Carson clinched at least the No. 4 seed from the Sierra Division into the zone playoffs with the win, improving to 5-2 in league play. The Senators set up a showdown for third place in the Sierra League when it hosts South Tahoe on Thursday.
The real prize, though, is likely the right not to play Galena in the first round of the playoffs. It figures that the Grizzlies will win the High Desert League title. It also figures Carson or South Tahoe have little chance to upset the Northern Nevada power.
The winner of Thursday's match would earn the right to play the High Desert League's No. 2 seed, which should be a much more competitive match for Carson or South Tahoe.
"We need Thursday so we can play the No. 2 team in the playoffs," Baker said.
A playoff spot also give Carson two singles players and two doubles teams into the zone tournament. Natalie Rogers will play in singles and Michelle Van Epps should also play in singles, Baker said. "Van Epps is doing very, very well," Baker said.
Staci Cobler and Jenae Jeppson, who swept their matchs 6-2, 6-0, 6-1 on Tuesday, should be seeded high with a strong record in the zone tournament.
"They're going to have a nice record going into the seeding," Baker said.
Baker said she has yet to choose her other doubles team to play in the zone tournament.
Rogers won her only match 6-1 on Tuesday while Van Epps won both her matches 6-2, 6-0. Carson swept all nine singles matches.
Greta Schnaser won 6-1, 6-1, Beth Ware won 6-1, Christine Atchian won 6-1, Kelsey Joyce won 6-0 and Aaren Porteur won 6-2.
In doubles, Shannon Arnold and Katie Elverum won 7-5 and Amber Whitworth and Simone Kuckenmeister won 7-6 (7-4).
"We're doing better than I expected in the beginning," said Baker about her team. "They're improving."