For the 49er tennis team, it has been a tough season, though it has still offered non-stop excitement.Last season, the Yuba College women’s and men’s tennis teams each finished third in their respective divisions. This season they are on course to finish with a comparable performance tied in fourth place with Shasta. American River, Sierra and Butte achieved greater success in BVL division play, taking the first three places.In his third year at Yuba, Coach Josh Prager has witnessed a good deal of improvement from his once inexperienced team. The women have played hard, even though, as Prager pointed out, “the women’s team is down a little this year in both experience and numbers.”The men’s team achieved several hard-fought victories over Sacramento City, Alameda and Shasta College. Defeats were often nail-biters with a 5-4 loss to Butte College, a 7-5 loss to Shasta and an 11-10 loss to Consumnes. Standouts this year are Kevin Buyse and, for the women, Diana Montiel. Both are number one players on their respective teams and will be competing in the Nor-Cal Tournament. Playing on the men’s team along Buyse are Mike Vongsavagh, Andy Rosado, Andy Vodden, Francisco Cross, Jaivir Sidhu and Somkid Banthau. On the women’s team with Diana Montiel are Mary Dughi, Shauna Reynoso, Stephanie Stratford and Hle Yang.During the Bay Valley Conference Tournament, Diana Montiel was Yuba’s only singles player to advance to the Nor-Cal Tournament. In doubles, Montiel and Shauna Reynoso advanced to Nor-Cal along with Kevin Buyse and Mike Vongsavagh for the men. However, Buyse was not able to play in single’s competition due to injuries. Prager hopes to see them all to do well in the coming Nor-Cal Tournament. “We are optimistic that some of our players can qualify for the State Championships in San Diego,” he said.Prager points out men’s team latecomers Jaivir Sidhu and Somkid Banthau as team surprises. “They made a real contribution to the team, solidifying the fifth and sixth spots on the team,” he said. Prager is working at a local racquet club this year and has been able to observe new local talent on the courts. He is especially hopeful that local high school stars such as Becky Kiehn and Jenny Miracle from Yuba City High and Matt Rodriques from Gridley High will join the team next season. Other players on the wish-list include locals Vanessa Tennis and John Lester.Prager looks forward with excitement to the return of last year’s number one men’s player, Anton Talle who red-shirted this season.He added, “A very strong team is coming next year to put Yuba College on the map.” When asked about the heart that his team has shown, he applauded them for their dedication in light of the fact that the courts they use are in Yuba City. Many players had to rearrange their schedules around matches to take into account extra transportation time.Coach Prager also acknowledges the help of his wife, Helen Prager, for her role as Assistant Coach. She has helped arrange transportation and scheduling so that he can devote more time to coaching.