Pirate tennis earns record so far this season

Next week, the team will travel to south Kitsap and later host Charles Wright.

On Sept. 23, the Vashon Island High School Pirates moved up to a 5-0 record by winning an away match against Life Christian 4-1.

After the Pirates lost the No. 1 singles match, Evan Keppler took a well earned 6-1, 6-4 win at No. 2 singles. Vashon then swept the doubles with Towner Anderson/Jon Maciejewski winning 6-2, 6-2, while Zach Van Dusen/Alex Hitchcock took a 6-1, 6-0 win and Chad Dublin/Kale Scheer completed the sweep 6-0, 6-0.

That left the team with a rare week of practice only. However, our usually reliable fall weather did not cooperate and, after raining out a few practices, the much anticipated Saturday Round Robin Tournament of nonleague teams rained out as well, despite valiant court drying efforts.

Although still rainy, the next match was played indoors, with the Pirates taking a 4-1 win at Annie Wright (AW). Hank Rogers started the match well with an impressive 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 1 singles. Alex Hitchcock followed with a very solid effort winning 6-3, 6-4 at No. 2 singles. AW played their two best players at No. 1 doubles and although JJ Bogaard /Mack Radic put out a great effort, they eventually dropped that match in a tie breaker. Cam Bedard/Danny Baldinger then took out a solid 6-1, 6-1 win and Marley Kott/Eli Gould followed with another 6-1, 6-1 win. For this match, the Pirates put a few newer players out on the courts to get their first varsity match with a more experienced partner.

The next day, the team traveled to Cascade Christian Schools and used its depth to roll to another 4-1 win. Using another new lineup and incorporating a lot of newer players, the Pirates still looked strong. Towner Anderson returned to No. 1 singles and turned in a dominant performance, 6-0, 6-0. Evan Keppler backed that up with a solid 6-1, 6-1 win at No. 2 singles. The Pirates dropped the No. 1 doubles match, but got nice wins from newer players at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles to wrap up the overall win. Nick Zuckerman/Sam Walker won 6-0, 6-2 and Danny Baldinger/Nick Poole won 6-3, 6-3, with both teams getting big wins as well as valuable experience.

To complete the week, the Pirates hosted Fife High School on Friday. Fife entered the match occupying first place in their league with a 9-0 record and led by a highly regarded singles player. The courts were really wet and there was some indecision as to whether the match would happen at all. Individual matches were shortened to one pro set (to eight games). Fife took both singles matches, even though both Marley Kott and Jon Maciejewski played well for the Pirates when pressed into singles duty.

Fife has a large and deep team. Like the Pirates, they have good doubles teams as well, so , sweep of doubles was a lot to ask from the Pirates. Hank Rogers/JJ Bogaard got a nice 8-4 win at No. 1 against some tough competition. Cam Bedard/Zach van Dusen got off to a slow start but mounted a serious comeback to win 8-6.

But that’s where the Pirate comeback ended. In No. 3 doubles, the Pirates again got behind early and came back, but this time, Fife was able to turn the momentum and win the set 8-6, thereby taking the match 3-2. In JV action, the Pirates fared well. Taking wins were Lucas Schoenberg/Eli Gould, Caleb Hecht/Mac Radic, Diego Escame/Xander Knodt. Overall, the match was a good one for the Pirates despite the loss — they were pushed on every match and should have a much better idea as to where they need to improve. Next week, the Pirates have two more challenging matches, traveling to south Kitsap on Tuesday and hosting Charles Wright on Friday.

— Pat Mulvihill is the assistant girls’ tennis coach for Vashon High School.

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