Lady Wave tennis on the brink of history
They’ve already accomplished one feat that hasn’t been done in school history.
Now, they’re preparing to add another milestone to the record books.
The Lady Wave tennis team completed the first undefeated regular season in program history and represents the Northern 3A as the No. 1 seed in this week’s regional team tournament.
“It’s kind of surreal,” said senior Kayla Bekiares, who teamed up with senior Izzy Martinez for Fallon’s No. 1 doubles team. “A lot of us have more experience. The most that has helped us is the offseason workouts. We practiced all throughout the summer and we would drag our friends out here.”
All of that hard work in the offseason will be put to the test once again this week in the regional tournament.
Fallon will host No. 4 North Tahoe (2-8) on Thursday at 3 p.m. at the Edward Arciniega Athletic Complex. The winner advances to the state tournament in two weeks and faces the winner of No. 2 Truckee (8-2) and No. 3 South Tahoe (6-4) Friday for the regional title at the Reno Tennis Center.
“I think we’re very anxious about Friday,” second-year coach Jessica Nuckolls said about Fallon on the brink of reaching state as a team for the first time. “We’re very excited.”
But before Fallon thinks about Friday, it will turn its attention to North Tahoe, which lost to the Lady Wave by forfeit in the season opener and 14-4 three weeks ago up at the lake.
Nuckolls is hoping for a strong crowd to show up on Thursday to root on the team after the program has been up and down since its inception.
“It would. I would love to see them want to support the program,” Nuckolls said. “We’re making it competitive and it’s actually fun to watch for us.”
For this senior-heavy tennis team, it begins with a handful of veteran letter-winners who have guided the ship all year.
Senior Melanie Nuckolls started the season on the injured list but won 15 of her 16 singles matches and will lead the Fallon as the No. 1 singles player. Sophomore Sarah Inglis finished 8-1 during the season and sophomore Jamie Bekiares was 4-2. More than half the team played at least one match in singles.
The doubles have been the team’s strength all season.
“All of us have played longer so we have more experience,” Melanie Nuckolls said. “We know how to place the ball. We have good coaching, a lot of seniors and smart players.”
The senior tandems of Kayla Bekiares and Martinez, and Paolo Duenas and Lana Quint combined to go 37-2 on the year. Duenas-Quint were perfect until the last day when it dropped a 6-3 decision at South Tahoe last week.
Jamie Bekiares and freshman Brooklynn Whitaker went perfect in three matches, while senior Mikaela McCormick and Whitaker teamed up to go 3-3.