Three-straight third-place finishes in the Pioneer Valley League don’t signify a hurting Bear River co-ed tennis team, considering taking third in the PVL is better than four other schools.
But Bruins seventh-year coach Jeff Carrow considers his team to be in “a little bit of a rut,” one which he is hoping a mostly realigned team can work its way out of this season.
Bear River senior Garrett Gregory – the No. 1 boys singles player – is one of the few Bruins who is playing in the same spot as last year.
At No. 1 girls, junior Marie Paquin moved up from the 3-spot last season, and is giving Carrow hope of competing against the team’s two main PVL foes, Colfax and Placer.
“Marie’s strength would just be a really good all-around game,” Carrow said. “She’s got fabulous baselines. … She hits the ball hard. You’re talking about a girl that can play and run all day long. She’s a classic natural athlete.”
Gregory, Carrow says, complements Paquin with his natural talent.
Still, Carrow expects many of the Bruins’ points to come from the lower spots on the team, including mixed doubles.
So far this season, the mixed double team of Neil Erickson and Emily Jacinto is 3-0 in PVL play. As a team, Bear River is 1-2 in league.
“It’s tough to get over the top sometimes,” Carrow said.
A second-place finish in the PVL will likely require a win against Colfax, which defeated the Bruins 8-1 in the first of two meetings this season. The rematch is at 3:30 p.m. April 10 at Bear River.
Forest Lake Christian
The Falcons have more than a handful of vital players back from last year’s co-ed tennis team, and they’re off to a 4-2 start.
Forest Lake junior Thomas Coibion, half of last year’s section-champion doubles team, has taken over the No. 1 boys singles spot from graduated brother Nick. Last season, the Coibion brothers united as a doubles team for the playoffs and won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III title.
On the girls’ side, the Falcons lost no one from last year’s squad.
Megan Wieczorek tops the list of the girls at No. 1, followed by Jenny Johnson and Chelsea Hanson at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.
FLC coach Steve Robinson’s approach to running his team – one that has maintained a winning record – is not a traditional one.
“They are multitaskers, multifaceted, multischeduled, 21st-century, active young people,” Robinson said of his team. “So their lives being like they are, I don’t want to disable them with too much drill instruction, so I encourage, encourage, and encourage.”
Under new management, the Miners’ boys tennis team is looking for its first league win since the 2004-05 season.
NU, which is currently 0-4 in Sierra Foothill League play, finished last season 0-10 in the Metro Conference. The Miners made the switch to the new league for this season as a result of the Sac-Joaquin Section’s league realignment.
Nevada Union was without at least one of its top two players – No. 1 Joey Schubert and No. 2 Jasper Fredrickson – in each match (losses to Woodcreek, Granite Bay, Del Oro and Rocklin).
“I think it’ll really help a lot to push the order down,” said NU coach Nick Bodley, who replaced Mike Blake this season. Blake opted to focus his attention on the girls tennis team, which plays during the fall.
To contact Sports Writer Jeff Miller, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4247.
Team: Bear River
Sport: Co-ed tennis
Coach: Jeff Carrow, 7th year
Last season’s league finish: 7-5
Key losses: Miki Kono
Key returnees: Marie Paquin, Garrett Gregory
Conference: Pioneer Valley League
Key matches: April 10 vs. Colfax, April 24 at Placer
Team: Forest Lake Christian
Sport: Co-ed tennis
Coach: Steve Robinson, 6th year
Last season’s finish: 9-7
Key losses: Nick Coibion, Peter Ivey
Key returnees: Megan Wieczorek, Jenny Johnson, Chelsea Hanson, Torrey Haddad, Ali Robinson, Mia Sasaki, Thomas Coibion, Rob Magorian, Kit Boyd,
Conference: Golden Empire League
Key matches: March 28 at Lindhurst, April 13 at Marysville
Team: Nevada Union
Sport: Boys tennis
Coach: Nick Bodley, first year
Last season’s finish: 0-10
Key losses: Jordan Stratigakes, Chris Edwards, Will Harvey, Eli Waggoner
Key returnees: Jasper Fredrickson, Joey Beede, Caleb Goodman, Joseph Schumacher, Chris Greiner
Conference: Sierra Foothill League
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