For the Douglas High boys tennis team, this was its trip to the playoffs.
Despite ending their season with a 10-8 loss on Thursday, coach Rod Smith was encouraged by the performance of the Tigers in Reno against a Damonte Ranch team that advanced to the Northern Division I Region playoffs this week.
Douglas led 4-2 after one round and the score was tied after two rounds before the Mustangs took charge.
“It’s not as though our team played worse in the second and third rounds, instead, Damonte clearly picked up their game,” Smith noted.
The Tigers ended their season with a 1-7 league record (Douglas also lost its season opener to Churchill County by a 10-8 score). Damonte was 5-3, good for third-place in the Sierra League and No. 4 seed into the regional tournament.
The No. 1 doubles team of Joey Swisher and Jon Pelcher combined to win all three of their sets, dropping only two games along the way. Pelcher, who normally plays No. 1 singles, switched to doubles in the absence of Swisher’s regular partner, Keaton Peters.
Connor Lyons won two of his three singles sets, losing only a 6-3 decision against the Mustangs’ No. 1, Tim Zagar.
“(Connor) showed tremendous determination against Damonte’s No. 1 singles player,” Smith said. “They had exciting rallies that displayed some of the best tennis I’ve seen all year.”
Senior Kyle Barnes picked up a second-round singles win, while the doubles teams of David Sando-Landon Whitely and Sam Nanse-Connor Filbin won their first-round sets. Nanse and Filbin also dropped a 7-6 (7-5) tie-breaker decision in the third round.
Swisher, Peters and Barnes were the only seniors on the Douglas roster this season.