Wave tennis teams win season openers
Both the Greenwave varsity tennis teams know the value in a win to open the season after both the Wave and Lady Wave won away and home matches against Sparks, 16-2 and 13-5, respectively on Thursday.
With both teams currently 1-0 in overall and in DI-A, after dual matches on Tuesday against Incline, the boys will face Truckee at home tomorrow, while the girls do the same on the road.
Second-year Lady Wave coach Jessica Nuckolls saw an even rate of success between her singles and doubles wins with just under 10 of the match wins ending in shutouts.
“It was pretty even,” Nuckolls said. “I’ve got a great group of girls who all played their best, and I did try to give some of the newer girls some new experience, got them playing quite a bit. They really did well, so I was proud of everybody.”
The ground the Lady Wave gave, in this regard, were losses by freshman Ashby Trotter in singles, senior Kylee Woolsey in singles and a doubles loss by Macy Wadsworth and Randy Manly, four new faces to the team who saw their first action.
“I wanted to give them the exposure of competition and being in the matches, we figured this was a good time,” Nuckolls said. “Even though they lost, they did really well. They fought really hard, but some of these girls only picked up a racket a few weeks ago, so I know they lost, but obviously I’ll keep them working and practicing and know in the future they’ll do a lot better. That’s the thing I’ve noticed about tennis in the last couple of years watching it and then coaching it, even though you can start the first match at a place in your athleticism, at the end of the season everyone improves immensely.”
For both boys and girls. tennis is a short season with only five weeks to face all comers and little time for younger players to see court time. But luckily the Lady Wave saw a strong doubles presence mixing seniors and freshmen, namely the duo of Izzy Martinez and Brooklynn Whitaker who won three 6-0 shutouts in a row, though, Martinez was originally slated to play doubles with Kayla Bekiares.
“We also decided to give some of the freshmen exposure with the seniors in the doubles, so that’s why we put them there,” Nuckolls said. “They were able to play with more mature players and really learned a lot, but in the future Izzy and Kayla will be my No. 1 doubles team.”
Bekiares competed alongside Kate Dunkin in three victories for the Wave, 6-0, 6-2 and 6-4 giving little edge to the Railroaders who are a much younger team.
“With many of the girls I’ve been working on attitude,” Nuckolls said of the room for her girls to improve even after a win like this. “The tennis court is really not a place to be cocky or furious. It’s not a sport which should be rageful. I know some professionals in the past who marketed that rage but I want my girls to be respectful, to win well with dignity, and to play their hardest and be proud of how they played. We obviously want to win, but when you give your opponents the satisfaction of being so distraught they feed off of that.”
With a smaller but seasoned team of eight returners and two new players, second-year boys coach Jess Nuckolls was no less pleased with a match giving up a mere two points to Sparks’ boys team.
“I think it was a good start to the season,” he said. “I know Sparks is a team we have been able to beat in the past, so we’ve continued that. They’re a fun team for us to start the season off with and I think that our competition will really begin to pick up in the next few weeks, however.”
Junior team leader Myles Getto, competing for the first time in singles, dominated all three of his matches with consecutive shutouts to earn his spot as the Wave’s captain.
“He’s our No. 1 this year and plays a great game of tennis,” Nuckolls said. “I’m hoping good things will happen to him this year and I have a lot of hope he’s going to continue to do well when we play Incline, Truckee and South Tahoe. He’s played well in practice and it’s shown in our matches and I hope it continues.”
While Getto was, last year, the Wave’s leading doubles presence at state with graduated partner Eric Sabatino, this year it’s looking like sophomore Alex Perazzo and junior Thomas Jamieson will be vying for the No. 1 spot with three shutouts against Sparks in doubles play.
“I think they did really good against Sparks and I have a lot of hope for them this year,” Nuckolls said on the duo. “Right now I have them playing as the No. 2 doubles but the reality is that between our NO. 1 and No. 2 they’re very close as far as skill levels are concerned. I’m looking forward to seeing how our doubles do this week against Incline and Truckee, and with Thomas and Alex it will be a good test for them.”
Similar to the girls team, Jess showed his younger players such as Trent Nuckolls and Compton Lords valuable court time in their respective singles losses to Sparks’ junior veteran Braden Goodnough, a good warm-up to set the tone for future victories.
“Even with those two losses, the two have a lot to think about because I know after watching them play that they play better, and I’m hoping we will see a big improvement when they play against Incline and Truckee, otherwise they’ll struggle if they don’t mentally prepare,” Jess Nuckolls said. “Both Trent and Compton lost in tie-breakers, and I think they should’ve played a lot better, but I hope they relax a little more and play tougher games next week.”