The Falcons’ Stone Mason took a win in the boys singles competition. (The Enterprise/John L. Braese)

NYSSA – As the tennis players from Four Rivers Senior Preparatory came off the bus in Nyssa, many knew their Bulldog opponents were better prepared, more experienced, and the day might be over quickly in terms of score.

But it didn’t matter.

The matchup on Thursday, April 5, marked the first-ever time the Falcons took the court for a high school tennis match. For some of the players, this was their first time in competitive tennis ever. 

“Some of them were so excited for this, they were sitting on the bus 30 minutes before we were even scheduled to leave,” said Four Rivers Coach Trish Alvarez. “They just wanted to get on the court.”

Alvarez started the season with basics. 

“Only five of the 13 players on the team had ever touched a racquet so we started the season explaining the lines, not touching the net and how tennis is scored before we even started hitting balls,” Alvarez said. 

The first couple of practices were held in the school’s gym before moving outside. As with all new players, chasing down balls took up much of the first practice.

“We had more than a few balls go all the way over to the Burger Den parking lot,” she said.

Facing a team like Nyssa with experience and age, the Falcons held their own in the matches and managed to pick up two victories, both in boys singles action. Stone Mason downed Nyssa’s Christian Medina 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 and Marcus Robbins took a 6-1, 7-6 victory over Nyssa’s Marline Miles. Nyssa boys took the team score 8-2 with the Bulldog girls teams sweeping the Falcons.

For Alvarez, the scores didn’t matter as much as having the Falcons actually open the season and play a team.

“We had kind of a practice match against Payette, but this is the first time this school has been on a tennis court for competition,” she said. “When we played Payette for practice, many of them were so scared.”

With the team made up of only sophomores and freshmen, Alvarez sees good things for the program as her players age. “We have kids with the skills. They just need the practice and knowledge,” she said. 

Nyssa 8, Four Rivers 2

Individual boys: First singles: Stone Mason (Four Rivers) over Christian Medina (Nyssa), 6-4, 3-6, 7-5. Second singles: Bryan Dorathy (Nyssa) over Moses Hernandez (Four Rivers), 6-3, 7-5. Third singles: Marcus Robbins (Four Rivers) over Marlin Miles (Nyssa), 6-1, 7-6. First doubles: Wyatt Jensen/Deardon Woodruff (Nyssa) over Marcus Robbins/Jesus Solano (Four Rivers), 6-1, 6-0. Second doubles: Colton Rindlisbacher/Jacob Ashby (Nyssa) over Trent Heidbrink/Moses Hernandez (Four Rivers), 6-0, 6-0. Individual girls: First singles: Anita Benjamin (Nyssa) over Carlsy Meyer (Four Rivers), 6-0, 6-1. Second singles: Chloe Richerds (Nyssa) over Yvonne Hernandez (Four Rivers), 6-0, 6-1. First doubles: Kristy Benjamin/Makayla Kesler (Nyssa) over Alex Palmoa/Daniela Martinez (Four Rivers), 6-1, 6-1. Second doubles: Shannon McLeod/Hope Prozanski (Nyssa) over Carley Meyer/Irene Guardado (Four Rivers), 6-2, 6-3.