57°F
weather icon Clear

Pahrump Valley’s first varsity tennis season marked by improvement

David Yost knew coaching a first-year program would bring some challenges, but even he was surprised when he stepped on the courts with Pahrump Valley High School’s first varsity tennis team.

“I thought some of these kids would know a little more than they did,” Yost said. “Two or three of them had never picked up a racket before. Ever.”

Obviously, wins and losses were not going to be the measuring stick for the Trojans, and it’s especially difficult to win with only one eligible male player on the team. At least the girls usually had a full six-player roster. Even so, being competitive will have to wait.

“They cared about winning,” Yost said. “They wanted to win, but they knew. They could walk out there and they could look at the other team warming up and go, ‘We’re going to get killed, but let’s go out and have some fun anyway. Let’s see what we can do.’”

“It’s like an expansion team. You know you’re going to get beat, but it’s how badly are you going to get beat and how much can you improve from the first game of the season to the last game of the season. And all of the kids improved, and that’s what I wanted to see. Every single one of them.”

Yost was hoping that “every single one of them” would include more players than the one boy and six girls he had, but the competition for athletes is tough this time of year.

“We’ve got so many sports in the fall,” he said. “We’ve got football, soccer for both boys and girls, we’ve got volleyball for the girls, we’ve got cross-country. Honestly, tennis should be a spring sport. It’s just too hot. You start in the beginning of August, you start to train, and it’s 105 degrees out there.”

Not being in the Class 3A Southern League also might have discouraged potential players, Yost believes.

“We had no playoffs,” he said. “We were just there to gain experience for two years. We’ll be independent again next year. I think that’s another reason maybe why our numbers were low. Kids realized we can’t play for playoffs or anything, so why should I bother? That could be another factor.”

Of the players that did come out, two had especially strong seasons: Veronica Dela Rosa and Kyler Strickland-Adams. That was to be expected, as Dela Rosa had by far the most tennis experience, and Strickland-Adams had the strongest athletic background.

“Veronica showed improvement,” Yost said of the sophomore. “She was kind of hesitant early because she knew she was head-and-shoulders above the rest of the girls because she had experience.

“Kyler lit it up. He won at least one set in every match we had, and in the last match he swept it 3-0. I’ll never forget the match his shoes wore out on him. The soles of both shoes just kind of fell apart because it was so hot. He literally played two matches with no shoes and just socks on and won both matches. That was hilarious.”

The senior’s competitiveness was obvious in person, and sometimes it showed on the scoreboard.

“Kyler played one tiebreak that was 19-17 or something like that,” Yost recalled. “It was like Wimbledon out there.”

Other players caught Yost’s attention during the Trojans’ debut season.

“Christa (Steele) is very, very athletic, never played tennis in her life, but you can see the athletic ability in her,” he said. “She came in and did really, really well. And Danyelle (Nielsen) and Ashley (Bishop) won a set or two in doubles.”

Strickland-Adams is a senior, but Yost expects most of his other players to return to the tennis team next fall. In fact, he thinks, as news of the team increases, turnout might do the same. He cited his own sports experience as a reason for athletes to try their hand at tennis.

“Because of tennis, I had good hand-eye coordination for hitting a ball,” Yost said. “If you’re going to play another sport like softball or baseball, tennis is the perfect fall sport, not soccer, not volleyball. Tennis is the best thing. You’re running, you’re sprinting. If you’re playing in the field in baseball or softball, you’re sprinting to the ball all the time.

“Once the word gets around that the kids had fun, we could get more out.”

Contact Sports Editor Tom Rysinski at trysinski@pvtimes.com On Twitter:@PVTimesSports

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Tom Rysinski: Football’s zebra herd needs some thinning

Criticizing officials who work high school games is not something I enjoy doing. They’re not making a fortune, they put up with a lot, and you really have to love doing it to devote so much time and energy to it. And in most sports there is a shortage of them. So criticizing them is usually inappropriate.

NHP provides update on Nye bus crash investigation

The Nevada Highway Patrol released new findings on the Sept. 5 crash involving a school bus carrying the Pahrump Valley High School junior varsity football team, a nighttime Highway 160 construction zone wreck that injured at least four on the bus.

Pahrump Valley Sports Roundup: Volleyball team sweeps Del Sol

Junior Nicky Velazquez finished with 11 kills and 7 digs Wednesday to lead the Pahrump Valley High School girls volleyball team to a dominating three-set win over Del Sol in Las Vegas.

Dan Simmons’ Sportsman’s quest: Exploring the Legends of the Lake

Nevada always has been the land of legends, mysteries and adventures. When it comes to fishing, it’s no different, as I discovered at Pyramid Lake, a short distance north of Reno.

Trojans Football Notebook: McGhee needs surgery

The 20-18 loss to Boulder City on Friday night was not the worst news for the Pahrump Valley High School football team in the past week.

Pahrump Sports Roundup: Seven Sharks win cross country medals

Seventh-grader Ryleigh Denton finished the 1.7-mile course at the Clark County Fairgrounds in 12 minutes, 32 seconds to place fifth and lead the Rosemary Clarke Middle School girls cross country team to a second-place finish Saturday in the Moapa Valley Invitational.

Nye County kids can win spot in Las Vegas Lights FC soccer clinic

Children ages 8 through 12 are eligible to enter a contest for a chance to participate in the Amazingly Fabulous Completely Unbelievable youth soccer clinic run presented by America First Credit Union and run by Las Vegas Lights FC coaches and players.

Football: Beatty makes it look easy in opener

With his football team’s opener canceled because of Round Mountain’s roster issues, Beatty High School senior Fabian Perez took advantage of the night off, opting to scout Mountain View Christian a week before the Hornets were scheduled to play the Saints.