On May 9, the Vashon girls tennis team sent the top six players to the Nisqually League tournament.
The team’s lineup was Paisley Lieske at number 1 singles, Maggie Battisti at number two singles, Tobin Vaughn/Lia Crawford at number 1 doubles and Lauren Henley/ Ashley McArthur at number 2 doubles.
The tournament was played indoors and produced a lot of good play from all the teams and players present. At the end of the day, Battisti was eliminated in a long, tough match against an inspired Cascade player. The rest of the team was able to advance to Districts with Lieske taking fourth, Vaughn/Crawford taking third and Henley/McArthur taking fourth place.
The following week the players moved on to the two-day District tournament. The level of play was very high, and despite not advancing any players to State, the Pirates played well and had a good tournament. Play got off to a rough start for the team as Henley suffered an injury right at the end of warm ups .
She was able to play her matches, but not at 100%, and she and McArthur were eliminated on the first day. The rest of the Pirates made it through the first day and then played well on day two. Lieske finished fourth and had a nice win over the player who had defeated her at League. Vaughn and Crawford played a strong tournament and were competitive all day; they also finished fourth. Only the top two places from the District tournament advance to State, so no one from the girls’ team was able to move on. However, it was still a good District tournament, where the team played good tennis, stayed competitive and had a great time.
Although the girls’ team did not advance, the boys team sent one player to State. The boys’ team plays their District tournament in the fall, and Towner Anderson, the Pirates number 1 singles player, finished second in that tournament. At the time it was not clear whether one or two players would advance to State, so he spent most of the winter in limbo. Eventually the District got their second allocation and Anderson was able to advance to the tournament in Yakima. To his credit, he stayed sharp all winter and took advantage of his spot at State. Despite a low seeding and tough draw, he won his first two matches on day one to get to the semi-finals. The level of play was extremely high on day two, as only the top players were left in the tournament. Anderson lost his semi-final despite a valiant second set comeback and then lost a close and tight match for third place. Both losses were to excellent players, and he was able to play on that level both times. He finished a highly respectable sixth place and gained a lot of experience for a possible run next year.
— Pat Mulvihill is an assistant tennis coach.