More talent doesn’t necessarily mean a better team.
While Jesse Nuckolls felt last year’s boys tennis team had stronger players, this year’s squad was more complete as a team. And as a result, the Greenwave will be competing in the Northern 3A regional team tournament this week.
“As a team, we’re better this year than we were last year,” the second-year coach said. “We’re excited that we finished fourth. We look at it as progress.”
Fallon finished the year 4-6 and as the No. 4 seed but No. 3 Incline will not be competing. Instead, Fallon is no the third seed and gets to avoid powerhouse South Tahoe, which finished undefeated. Fallon travels to No. 2 Truckee (8-2) at noon on Thursday while No.4 North Tahoe (2-8) opens at South Tahoe (10-0). The winners face off at 3 p.m. on Friday for the regional title at the Reno Tennis Center.
“We’ve been super good this year because we lost one senior,” said junior Miles Getto, the team’s No. 1 singles player. “I’ve seen improvement in each other. It’s really good to see that. We’re beating teams we haven’t been able to in previous years.”
Getto finished the regular season with a 13-7 record while sophomore Trent Nuckolls went 4-11, bouncing between playing as the Nos.1 and 3 seeds during the year. Seniors Mattia Astori, juniors Thomas Jamieson and Ryan Lords, sophomores Compton Lords, Alex Perazzo and Dylan Bowen have all gained singles experience.
Senior Dylan Kubeny and junior Blake Malkovich went 9-5 as Fallon’s No. 1 doubles team, while Thomas Jamieson and Perazzo finished 8-6 as the No. 2 team. Like singles, coach Nuckolls used a number of players to compete in the No. 3 doubles spot.
“I had an open mindset,” Malkovich said about his expectations for the season. “I figured it’s a new game, a new day. I had no solid expectations but hoped for the best.”
Malkovich and Kubeny played for the first time this year and Malkovich said they bonded quickly.
“We were able to click like that,” he said.
Defeating Truckee on Thursday is not insurmountable. Although the Wolverines won both meetings, the Greenwave improved in the second match.
Fallon will need to be nearly flawless to have a chance to win and advance to the regional championship and state tournament.
“We would have to put it all together to beat them,” coach Nuckolls said. “It’s possible. Tennis is one of those games where stranger things have happened.”