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Boys tennis team surprises opponents, qualify for regionals

Sophomore boys Boulder City tennis player Andre Pappas had two goals coming into the season. The first was to qualify as a team for a regional tournament spot, an accomplishment that’s been years in the making for one of the Division I-A’s prominent doormats. The second was to improve enough to qualify individually for a regional championship. Through hard work and dedication this season, Pappas and the Eagles were able to accomplish both.

Grabbing their first postseason appearance since the Nevada Interscholastic Athletics Association moved Boulder City from the AAA conference into the newly created Division I-A, the tennis program has turned the corner on what started out as an ugly beginning. Despite dropping this past week’s regional semifinal to potential Division I-A state champion The Meadows 17-1, the Eagles, which feature one of the state’s youngest rosters, showed life this season, like Pappas had predicted, when no one expected them to.

“This team is young, but so talented,” Pappas had said during a midseason interview. “No one really expects us to compete given our record last year, but we’re going to continue to get better throughout the next few years and make some noise in postseason play.”

Despite failing to conquer the moment against a senior-laden Meadows team Tuesday, most of the boys roster will get an opportunity to continue to surprise their critics this season at next week’s individual tournament.

Grabbing all three singles spot and a pair of doubles, the Eagles will send sophomores Andre Pappas, Sam O’Berto and Pedro Velarde to compete individually, while the teams of sophomore Adam Clary and freshman Leaf Kaboli and seniors Jordan Hill and Aidan Schofield will square off together.

Despite failing to qualify for team regionals, the Lady Eagles will also be well represented at the individual event, sending all three of their singles competitors and both doubles teams as well. In singles competition junior Natalia Fullmer will be joined by freshman Harley Fullmer and Natalie Bowman, along with the double tandems of juniors Kyra Yamamoto and McKenna Frazier and freshman Olivia Goodfellow and Kali Martin.

The 2015 Division I-A Southern Region boys and girls individual tennis championship tournaments will begin Tuesday at the Darling Tennis Center in Las Vegas.

Contact Robert Vendettoli at BCRsports@gmail.com.

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