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Truckee tennis faces inaugural season

BAY KELLEY, Sierra Sun

The Tahoe-Truckee Wolverine boys’ and girls’ tennis programs have a trial year under their respective belts, but now it’s time for the real thing.

Having played a series of scrimmages at the convenience of their opponents last year, this year’s teams are developed and ready for their inaugural season.

Both the girls’ and boys’ teams are coached by Laura Burghello, who works for Truckee Elementary School.

“I love tennis,” said Burghello, who was instrumental in getting the programs started last year. “Tennis is my thing, my passion, my hobby.”

The girls’ team

Playing in the No. 1 position for singles on the girls’ tennis team is Sandra Brunner. Brunner, an exchange student from Switzerland, is a senior and is dominant on the court. Having played for several years in her native country, she has a “really strong serve,” according to Burghello, and a ground stroke that is “perfect.”

No. 2 for the girls is former No. 1, Lindsay Burghello. Burghello, a sophomore, is very athletic and has a ground stroke that, for her size, rivals the strength of anyone (boy or girl) on the court, says coach Burghello.

In the third spot for singles is Heather Thym. Thym is what Burghello describes as a “grinder” or a very tenacious player. Last year, Thym played more tie-breakers than anyone, a testament to her effort, says Burghello.

“[Thym] is the hardest worker out there,” said Burghello. “She will do whatever it takes to keep the ball in play. She is [in a match] for the duration.”

Another exchange student is Felipa Nunes, from Portugal. Nunes, described by Burghello as a little rusty due to a wrist injury that kept her off the courts for a while, looks better with each practice

“The more she’s out,” said Burghello, “the stronger she looks.”

Nunes, a senior, will likely accompany Jaime Morton Holly on the court for doubles. Holly, whose strokes are looking “really good,” is described by Burghello as being a very good doubles player.

Also a likely doubles pair are Michelle Stock and Jenny Shaeffer. Both are described as being good competitors by Burghello, who thinks they will win a lot as a result.

Burghello also acknowledged the work of Shelly Ratto, a freshman, who will likely be an alternate.

“She will be really good once she plays some more,” said Burghello.

Meghan Powers, last year’s recipient of the coaches’ award, was also mentioned, along with Kimmy Fasani-Britton. Both were described as having improved a lot since last year, with Powers having never missed a practice since being in the program.

“She’s an extremely coachable player,” said Burghello.

The boys’ team

The competition for the first, second and third spots on the boys’ team is very tight.

In the running are Nick Ratto, John Parker and Aaron Burghello.

John Parker, a senior, who’s father, Greg, is a professional tennis player, has been playing in tournaments for a long time. Burghello says that he has perfect strokes and the best serve on the boys’ team.

Aaron Burghello’s strength lies more in his finesse. Having played in his fair share of tournaments, Aaron concentrates more on the ball’s spins, according to the teams’ coach.

Nick Ratto, a junior playing his second year for the squad, is described as being an all-around good player.

Jeff Botto was acknowledged as having made “huge progress” since last season with his play “looking really good,” according to Burghello.

Botto, along with Steve Seitz, Will Loomis, Ryan Stock, Chris Schindler, Mark Rosol and Ryan Thym, described collectively as a very competitive bunch, will interchangeably play doubles for the boys’ team.


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