Placer tennis beats Colfax, records 75th consecutive PVL victory

By: Matthew Kimel, Journal sports editor
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Shortly after Placer clinched its 75th consecutive Pioneer Valley League tennis match victory, coach Tom Isaac was asked how long he thinks the streak can last. 

“I’m not looking past Thursday,” the coach said, referring to the Hillmen’s next contest against Bear River in Auburn. “It could have been over today if a few matches go the other way.”

While Isaac has some concerns about the upcoming date with the Bruins, his Hillmen picked up a milestone victory Tuesday on the Hill, continuing their PVL dominance with a 6-3 victory over Colfax.

Placer won the first five contested matches off the bat to seal the deal.

Andrew Dahlin, a Hillman who doubled up with Kyle Fontes to win a 6-3, 6-3 decision over Connor Havens and Chris Harshman, said the reason Placer continues to stay in the win column can be credited to the team’s coaches.

“Coaching is definitely a big helper,” said Dahlin, referring to Isaac and his wife, Jen. “They’re more than coaches. They always inspire us to do the best we can. It brings us together as a team. They carry the team. They’ve been here for a while and help us keep carrying on a legacy.”

Isaac has two ingredients that form his recipe for success.

“I always tell everybody the secret formula is heart and mind,” he said. “You can work on the strokes, but you can have good strokes and be a bad tennis player. … We try to help the kids toughen each other up with a lot of challenge matches. You win you play, you lose you don’t. … We do a few things that people in other tennis programs don’t – if it rains or drizzles, we still practice.”

In one of the closest contested matches Tuesday, Placer’s Clayton Baker and Kirstin Schauble teamed up to beat Rich Hazzard and Alex Noble, 4-6, 7-5, 10-6.

Colfax picked up its victories in No. 1 singles action, No. 2 boys singles and No. 2 boys doubles.

In singles, Colfax’s Kyle Detwiler scored a 0-6, 6-4, 10-7 triumph over Robert Kuklica.

The Falcons’ second team boys of John Crane and Taylor Dorsey topped James James and Troy Potter, 2-6, 7-5, 10-7.

Justine Hanson of Colfax defeated Lindsay Holden by default.

In No. 1 singles action on the boys side, Placer’s Andrew Carducci remained unbeaten on the year, downing Drew Detwiler 6-0, 6-2.

Clare McInerney, playing in the No. 2 girls singles slot for Placer, came out on the winning end of a 7-6, 6-3 score vs. Aspin Fairchild.

Placer’s doubles swept Colfax with Jessi Fry and Camila Polinksy beating Jazz Christian and Linda Segel 6-1, 6-2 and Tani Thomsen and Ana De Miguel rolling past Christina Rossi and Elise Douglas, 6-0, 6-1. 

Before the boys and girls took the court, the Golden Hillmen March Band performed the National Anthem. Isaac said the band has never performed at a tennis match during his tenure, and it could possibly be the first time in school history.

More than a dozen band members performed the tune, including tennis players Potter, James, Thomsen and Baker.

Reach Matthew Kimel at Follow him on Twitter@matthewkimel