Greenwave boys tennis boasts eight returners
The Greenwave varsity boys tennis team has one of if not the biggest presence(s) when it comes to returning players, with eight veterans and two new additions rounding out the 10 man squad which second year coach Jess Knuckolls hopes to go far in Division 1-A. “I think we’re definitely growing as a team,” Knuckolls said. “Last year we had a very young team and so this year I’ve seen a lot of improvement from many of our players. I think my expectation is that we’re going to better this year than we did last year, but I also realize that we’ve still got a long ways to go.”
The Wave’s first match was supposed to be against North Valley on Tuesday, but due to an incomplete roster, the Wave will instead compete in their first away conference match at Sparks on Thursday, time TBA.
While 2016 marks the absence of graduated seniors Wei Deng and Eric Sabatino, who did well at regionals and state in singles and doubles respectively last year, Sabatino’s former partner Myles Getto, who made it to state with him, is among those returning as a junior this year in singles.
“(Getto) has really imrproved,” Knuckolls said. “He’s been doing great. He had a couple of upsets last year as a singles player when we threw him in a couple of matches. I realized then, though, he was going to be a good singles player and talked him into it this year and I think he’s going to do a really good job for us. I think he has a good chance of making it to regionals and doing well there.”
Getto is arguably one of the team’s leaders, while new addition Ben Jamieson is the only freshman of the 10. Jamieson and sophomore Dylan Bowan are the new presences while juniors Blake Malkovich, Ryan Lords, Thomas Jamieson, while sophomores Alex Perazzo, Compton Lords and Trent Knuckolls make up the rest of the team.
“We’ve got a lot more junior sand sophomores now, only one senior and one freshman, so I have a younger balanced team and for me, we’re still going to have some big challenges when we play Truckee and South Lake Tahoe.” Knuckolls said. “Teams which were pretty dominant against us last year are bringing back a lot of their players, and this year I think we have a chance of winning regionals.”
Knuckolls said in earnest it is fun to watch his players improve and come together, both confident in his returners and their experience as well as in his two new players’ ability to adapt.
“There’s so much more we can improve in and they know that, they realize what they need to work on,” he said. “They’re starting to understand their opponents a little better when they’re playing and are changing their tactics to play them better, probably because they’ve been playing each other for so long.”