Don’t look now, but the Carson High boys tennis team is just one win away from advancing to the state tournament.
The Senators, led by a dominating performance from Taylor Saarem and Jayson Artz, cruised to an easy 14-4 win over Bishop Manogue in the opening round of the 4A team playoffs Tuesday at Carson High.
Carson will play at Damonte Ranch Thursday at 3 p.m. for the right to play in Friday’s final. The top two teams advance to state.
Saarem and Artz went 3-0, dropping just one game along the way. Saarem and Artz have dropped just one set all season, and that was against Reno in the opening match of the season.
Nico Salm and Danny Dudley also went 3-0 in doubles, while Ryan Tomita was a perfect 3-0, too. Bradley Wiggins went 2-1 in singles and Stu McElhany and Alec Henricksen went 2-1 at No. 3 doubles. Jared Barnard went 1-2 in singles.
“I was a little surprised (at the score),” CHS coach Hal Wilkins said. “When we played them earlier this season, we got off to a slow start. Winning the first set 5-1 was really big.”
Wilkins praised the play of Saarem and Artz, a first-year combination. The duo has a tremendous chance to reach state at next week’s individual tournament.
On Tuesday, the CHS duo had a few tough games in the first two sets, but breezed in the third set against a Manogue back-up team. Both Artz and Saarem had issues getting their first serves in, but overcame that.
“They have been so strong the entire way,” Wilkins said. “They haven’t gotten much competition except that first match against Reno (6-4 loss and 7-6 win).
“I talked to Taylor before the season started, and asked him what his goals were. He said he wanted to make state. There is a lot of depth in singles, and I thought doubles gave him his best opportunity.”
Saarem, who was Carson’s top singles player last year, had never played doubles in his previous three years at CHS.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Saarem said. “It’s a faster pace than in singles. Jayson and I played a little bit together in preseason. It was easy to get used to.”
Artz said it didn’t take long for him and Saarem to feel comfortable together.
“By the end of the first week of practice,” he said. “We practiced a little bit during the summer. I’m not surprised by how well we’ve done. Our best match was the first one. We lost to Reno’s No. 1 team 6-4 and then won the next set 7-6.”
The duo didn’t play the third set that day because Reno had the match well in hand.
Tomita dropped just five games in three sets, while Salm and Dudley dropped eight games.
Carson girls advance
The Senators got three wins from the doubles team of Emma Breeding and Anya Woodbury to knock off Galena, 10-8, Tuesday at Carson High.
The Senators earned the right to face Reno in Thursday’s semifinals at 3 p.m.
Breeding and Woodbury won 6-2, 6-0 and 6-4.
In doubles, Amanda Schulz and Emily McCaskill won 7-5 en route to a 1-2 day.
Elise Brady went 2-1 at No. 2 singles, winning 6-4 and 6-0. Heather Lamotte grabbed a 6-4 win at No. 3 singles and Shaylin Segura won 6-0 to finish 1-2 at No. 1 singles.
Carson sweeps Damonte
RENO — Carson improved to 6-3 with a 25-17, 26-24 and 25-13 victory over Damonte Ranch Tuesday night.
It was the fifth time CHS has swept a 4A opponent this season.
“We played at about 80 percent,” coach Robert Maw said. “We played good defense, passed well and served well (11 aces, 93 percent). I was hoping for a little more connection between Natalie (Anderson) and Jaycie (Roberts). We got our middles involved more in the last set.”
Dajarrah Navarro was ill, giving Shea DeJoseph more court time. She responded with five aces, two kills and two blocks. Keelin Pilgrim played just one set because she was under the weather.
Roberts finished with 14 kills and just three errors. She added four blocks, two aces and a dig. Anderson finished with 28 assists and four digs. Ku’ulei Haupu registered seven blocks and two kills, while Ari Schmidt and Maya Vasquez had three kills each. Vasquez also had five blocks. Abby Pradere finished with six kills.
Carson girls rout Wooster
RENO — Yanitzia Perez scored three times, Mallory Otto added two goals and Galilea Cid scored once to lead the Senators to an easy 6-1 win over Wooster Tuesday afternoon.
Carson improved to 9-0-1, and will gear up for a first-place battle Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at home against Douglas.
“The girls played pretty well,” Carson coach Greg Lehman said. “Now we’re getting ready for the weekend.”
It was Perez’s fourth multi-goal game of the season. Otto, who had her eight-match goal streak stopped on Saturday, had her first multi-goal game of the season. She has 10 goals on the season which ties her with Perez for the team lead.
Galena beats Douglas
Lauren Muff scored the go-ahead goal in the 69th minute and the Galena Grizzlies held on for a key 2-1 Sierra League girls soccer victory Tuesday night against Douglas in Minden.
Douglas (8-1-1 league, 9-2-1 overall) dropped out of a first-place tie with Carson in the league standings. The Tigers had been unbeaten in 10 straight games since opening the season with a 6-0 loss on Aug. 26 against Montgomery (Santa Rosa, Calif.).
Galena (9-1, 10-2) rallied from an early 1-0 deficit after the Tigers’ Alexa Moss scored in the fifth minute. Peri Buck pushed the ball past the goalkeeper toward Moss in front of the net.
Peyton Kosman answered with a goal in the 15th minute to create a 1-1 tie that stood at halftime.
A corner kick set up the game-winning shot as Muff, a freshman midfielder, gathered in a cross from Heather Huene directly in front of the net.
Dayton loses, 8-5
YERINGTON — The Lions scored five times in the first half to post an 8-5 3A win Tuesday afternoon.
Riley Fetters scored twice and Victor Gomez, Jacob Duran and Isaac Guadarrama added one each.
“We gave up a couple of early goals (in the second half), and that brought us down,” coach Luis Melgarejo said. “Yerington played a good game. They were more into it than the last time we played them. Overall they played a better game.”
Carson visits Wooster
The Senators and the Colts who had two epic post-season battles last year, meet today at 3:30 at Wooster.
Wooster and Galena lead the Sierra League at 7-1-1, while CHS is a point behind at 7-2.
Wooster swept the season series last year, but the Senators beat the Colts in the Northern region and state finals.