Tennis season comes to a close
Both the boys and the girls Greenwave varsity tennis teams have finished their regular seasons.
Though on opposite ends of the spectrum with the Wave boys at 3-8 overall and 3-7 D1-A and the Lady wave at 7-3 in both regards, both teams have individuals ranking among the best in the league that will be headed to the regionals tournament today.
The varsity boys will be represented by eight players, with three doubles teams and two singles players, while the varsity girls will be represented by nine players in kind.
Boys varsity coach Jesse Nuckolls said he is pretty excited about the boys on his team going to regionals despite their D1-A record.
“Even though we only won three games, I feel like as a team we played much better than our record shows,” Nuckolls said. “There was quite a good handful of games we could’ve won that would’ve put us in the top four, so considering how young our team is, I’m pretty excited about that. It’s a good start. It looks bad on paper with 3-7, but we played better than that, just couldn’t quite pull off a few points on our last matches.”
Though the Greenwave boys finished their season with a road loss to the South Tahoe Vikings 13-5, Nuckolls pointed out that the boys have had many close losses throughout the season, and that the overall record has not hindered some of their boys’ presence in the individual brackets or the doubles brackets.
“Next year and the year after, we’re going to continue to get better and we should place ourselves a lot higher the next two years,” Nuckolls said. “I don’t see any reason why that won’t happen. All these guys have shown me that they want to keep practicing and have even asked me when off-season practices start before we even finished the regular season. I’m pretty excited about their enthusiasm and looking forward to seeing how that displays on the court.”
A few players Nuckolls said have been particularly receptive to improvement are Josh Mikulak and Blake Malkovich, first year players on the team ranked seventh in the regional tournaments.
“They literally picked it up two weeks before practice started, and they have taken off since then,” Nuckolls said. “So I’m real proud of those guys and I’m still trying to figure out how to get better. This being their first year, they’ve got a lot of room to improve so I’ve got a good feeling these guys are going to be real good in a couple of years.”
Another of the tough seeds that Nuckolls said the team sowed is Wei Deng, a senior heading to the regional tournament ranked eighth in singles in the D1-A. Nuckolls also said this was unfortunate, though, since Deng’s ranking puts him in the bracket with the no. 1 undefeated player in the league that Deng will play should he win a match with a Sparks player also in the bracket.
“But you know, if there’s a guy that can upset somebody, it’s Wei,” Nuckolls said with pride. “He has one of those kind of games that some times other tennis players can’t quite figure out, and it’s showing with a couple of upsets he’s had this year. So I’m excited to see what happens.’
The Wave’s No. 1 doubles team, made up of Myles Getto and Eric Sabatin, is ranked fourth in the regional tournament, a team that Nuckolls said also has a good chance of winning at regionals and moving on to the state competition in Las Vegas.
“I know for sure there’s two teams they’re playing that they’ve beaten before, so it’s going to be a good battle but I think they’ve got a real good chance of going to state,” Knuckolls said.
“Once we get down to Las Vegas it’s a whole other world. Those guys and girls down there have been playing their whole lives, and it definitely poses a challenge for us who haven’t been playing as many years.”