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Lenaway rebuilding Warriors' boys tennis team

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Fallbrook High School’s boys tennis team likely won’t have an impressive record this year.

A high school tennis match consists of each of a school’s three singles players contesting sets against each of the other school’s singles players. It also consists of a school’s three doubles teams facing each of the other school’s doubles tandems. A team, thus, must have at least nine players to avoid forfeiting sets. Since the 2023 Warriors only have six players, the opponent in each match will win six sets by forfeit.

“From a standpoint of wins and losses, it’s going to be a tough season,” said Fallbrook coach Bill Lenaway. “We’re not going to win a lot of matches because we only have six guys.”

The Warriors began 2023 play with a 10-8 loss, Feb. 16 at Rancho Buena Vista, and a 10-8 defeat March 7 at San Pasqual. “If it’s 10-8, then of the 12 sets played, we won eight of them,” Lenaway said.

Ramona High School home matches are played at the Riviera Oaks Racquet Club, and rain caused Fallbrook’s match in Ramona to be postponed from Feb. 28 to March 8. A 10-8 Fallbrook victory against the Bulldogs, improved the Warriors’ season record to 1-2.

Last year, Fallbrook had a 10-7 overall record, including a loss in the first round of the CIF Division II playoffs. The Warriors were 7-3 in Valley League play and shared second in the league standings. The 2022 team had four seniors and four juniors. One of those juniors, Porter Niccum, graduated in December 2022.

“We graduated a whole bunch of kids,” Lenaway said. “It happens. I was super senior heavy last year.”

The other three 2022 juniors did not return to the team; two of those were with the Fallbrook program for last year only.

“It’s a bummer that we don’t have a full team,” Lenaway said.

Current junior Anthony Wilson and 2023 sophomore Connor Skaja are the only returning players from last year’s team. The other four – Micah Kendall, Billy Mathewson, Sid Nestman, and Gunnar Wiessner – are all freshmen.

“I’ve got six good kids, and they’re nice kids,” Lenaway said. “I’m just hoping to develop the talent I’ve got.”

Wilson and Skaja teamed with each other in doubles, Feb. 16, and won all three sets. Nestman won all three of his singles sets at Rancho Buena Vista, while Kendall was victorious in two singles sets.

Nestman, also, won three sets at San Pasqual, with two of those having 6-0 scores. He also won three sets against Ramona. Kendall won twice at San Pasqual and swept his sets in Ramona, to give him a 7-2 record for the season.

With no seniors, and only one junior, Lenaway sees potential in future seasons. “We’ll try to rebuild and see if we can get some talent from the incoming eighth graders, and try to build the team back up,” he said.

 

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