Truckee tennis | Boys, girls claim regional titles |

Truckee tennis | Boys, girls claim regional titles

Special to the Sun

For the third consecutive year, the Truckee boys tennis team is the Northern Division I-A champion.

The road to victory was not easy. In fact, Thursday's regional semifinal match against Fallon could not have been closer, as the top-seeded Wolverines had to scratch and claw to advance to the finals with a 10-9 tiebreaker victory over the Greenwave.

Truckee took care of business the next day in the finals, defeating South Tahoe 11-7 to secure the top Northern seed in the state championship tournament.

After a slow start against Fallon, top-seeded Teagan Pado and Ethan Gotts won six straight games to take the set 6-2. Eli Yale and Brandon Flora also turned it on to win 6-3. In very even matches, Ryan Schildge and Jack Feick fought to a 7-5 win, as did Jaden Hippler over in the No. 3 singles seed. This put Truckee up 4-2 in the first round. 

The second round typically favors the home team, as there is an advantage in the higher seed playing in four matches. That went accordingly in doubles, but Kevin Cross came in to face Fallon's No. 1 seed, defeating him 7-5. Colin Deurlington had a tight match and came out on top, 6-4. That put Truckee up 8-4 after two rounds. 

The third round favors the visitors, and Fallon took advantage. The singles swept all three sets and the two higher-seeded doubles did their jobs, winning both sets. Only Pado and Gotts won all three rounds. However, that single win put Truckee in a tie, 9-9, after scoring five in the final round, forcing a tiebreaker.

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In team tennis, the starters all go back out to play one "best to 7" tiebreaker, and each has to win by 2 points.

Zach Yamauchi upset Fallon's No. 1 singles seed, winning 8-6, but Truckee lost 4-7 and 7-9 in the other two single matches. In doubles, Yale and Flora won 7-4, as did Schildge and Feick. Pado and Gotts slipped 6-8 to Fallon's top seed, leaving the tiebreaker tied at 3 breaks to 3.

To break the tie, the number of points allowed by each team were added up. Truckee gave up 39 points to Fallon's 40, giving the Wolverines the victory by a single point.

Wolverines take down Vikings for regional title

Friday's match pitted the top two teams in Northern Nevada for the third consecutive year — Truckee and South Tahoe. In the two regular-season meetings, Truckee had prevailed in a tiebreaker and by a single set.

South Tahoe has a strong singles team, while Truckee has dominated on the doubles side. A strategy that had worked in the past was to split the dominant doubles players, sending Gotts over to play singles while pairing Pado with Hippler. With Gotts pushing out a singles player, it moved Cross over to play doubles with Feick.

"This was a bit risky to put singles players with doubles partners in a championship game, but it is a strategy that has helped us in the past" said Truckee coach Marc Pado. 

The strategy started out well, as all three double teams, Pado/Hippler, Yale/Flora and Feick/Cross, won their comparable seed matchups. Gotts started against South Tahoe's No. 2 seed, wining his set 6-4 to give Truckee a first-round advantage, 4-2. 

The second round should favor Truckee, but the Wolverines came up short.

Gotts won 6-0 against the No. 3 seed. The top two doubles teams also beat the lower seeds where needed. However, the No. 2 singles for South Tahoe, Marin, rallied to beat Zach Yamauchi, Truckee's No. 1 seed. The Wolverines and Vikings split the second round 3-3 heading into the final round, which should favor South Tahoe.

Truckee needed to win three sets to seal the title. As expected, Gotts won 6-2 and Pado and Hippler won 6-4, while Truckee managed two upsets, as Deurlington stepped up his game to beat the No. 2 seed, 6-3, and Yale and Flora upset the Vikings' No. 1 seed, 6-4, to seal the win.

"We couldn't be more proud of how all of the Truckee team stepped up this year to finish with some of their best tennis, taking home a third consecutive regional championship title for Truckee High," said coach Rick Deeter. "We are also very proud of the Truckee girls, who also won the regional title after sweeping the tiebreaker 6–0 versus Fallon. It was an impressive day for Truckee tennis."

Truckee's girls, who were seeded second in the north, defeated third-seeded South Tahoe 10-8 in the semifinal round Thursday. The Wolverines then edged top-seeded Fallon 10-9 in Friday's finals, using their 6-0 tiebreak to eke out the victory.

Up next

Both the Truckee boys and the girls teams will compete in the state championship at the Reno Tennis Center on Thursday, Oct. 23. Girls face The Meadows at noon the boys face The Meadows at 3 p.m. Before then, however, the Truckee boys and girls teams will host the Northern Division I-A individual finals at the Tahoe Donner Tennis Center this Friday and Saturday, starting at 9 a.m. both days.