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Lady Wave tennis keeps winning streak

Mike Sciandra
msciandra@lahontanvalleynews.com
Wave tennis player Ryan Lords returns a serve in the match against Truckee on Thursday.
MIKE SCIANDRA / LVN |

While the Lady Wave tennis team continues its winning streak at 3-0 with a narrow 10-9 win at Truckee, the boys tennis squad tripped on a 13-5 loss at home on Thursday.

Fallon’s chances to keep winning or, in the boys case, even the record, comes Thursday with dual matches against North Tahoe at home and away, respectively, at 3 p.m.

Girls coach Jessica Nuckolls said her team go into Truckee with confidence but ready to work their hearts out, reflected especially in daughter Melanie Nuckolls’ two singles victories. Both of Melanie’s victories went an hour and an hour and a half, defeating both Truckee’s Rebecca Ziegler, 6-4, and senior rival Maya Willis, 7-5, before a loss to No. 3 Annie Guerra, 6-2, following almost three hours of play.

“I don’t think she had played that much in months since she broke her toe a month ago,” coach Nuckolls said. “I had a hard time watching the matches because I was very stressed out for her but she did very good.”

Nuckolls’ No. 1 doubles team, Izzy Martinez and Kayla Bekiares, continued their winning streak with another 6-1, 6-2 ands 6-3 triplet of victories like their last match. Singles notable Lana Quint was paired with Paola Duenas in an impromptu doubles team to cover for an injury, and the new duo pulled a triple victory of their own, 6-0, 6-4 and 7-5.

“Lana has played singles so far this year but because of a girl out with a foot injury last week I put her with Ola and they were a very strong team. I really liked the way they played together.”

The Lady Wave had no guarantee of a win when the match came to a 9-9 tie-breaker, realizing Fallon would have to play the first round over again while exhausted after 3 1/2 hours of tennis. Second year sophomore Jamie Bekiares shined to push Fallon back over the edge in a singles victory against Truckee’s No. 1, which Nuckolls said was excellent for everyone despite a vocal and colorfully languid Truckee team.

“The tough thing about Truckee is they have a different air about them,” she said. “The way they play is very loud. We don’t play like that. Our girls are encouraging to one another but they’re not obnoxious to the other team.”

On top of a more verbal team Truckee continued to ask for line judges, which Nuckolls said shocked her because she’s never received a complaint about her girls’ line calls which she said discouraged her.

While the girls team will go up against a North Tahoe counterpart with less than nine players and a guaranteed three points forfeited, Fallon’s boys tennis coach Jesse Nuckolls said North Tahoe is a team his players need to beat, and has no doubt they can beat them after the tough less Truckee dealt the Wave at home on Thursday.

“They always have a good program,” Nuckolls said of Truckee in his two years of experience. “They have a new coach this year but she’s been coaching for a while, and I think even though they lost to South Lake Tahoe, Truckee is still going to be the team to beat. They play good, fundamental tennis and run a good program over there, and they’ve done a good job with those boys.”

As far as how the wave played, it was a clear victory to the Wolverines according to Nuckolls which made him see definitively that the Wolverines will be a challenge for the next three years as a team with numerous freshmen.

“We don’t have nearly as many freshmen as they do,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do to catch up to them, which I think we can do, we just have to really want it. It’s going to start off-season and it’s going to take a lot of drills and practice to get up to that level.”

When it comes to the question of skill, Nuckolls said his players can compete, but this year is all about learning experiences and running into flat-out better tennis players. The match at North Tahoe on Thursday comes on the heels of an ineligibility crisis disrupting one of the Wave’s feature doubles teams, but even with the change in chemistry the only question, Nuckolls said, is if the Wave can get it together.

“We’ll try out some doubles teams and see how they match up and hopefully come out and beat them,” he said. “We’re going to need a couple of players to fill those shoes. Everybody is going to have to play well but I firmly believe we can beat North Tahoe.”