The Vashon Island High School boys tennis season entered the last two weeks of the regular season with a strong 8-1 record, but still smarting from their first loss.
Their first chance to get back on the right foot came against South Kitsap (SK), which turned out to be a tough matchup. SK has two strong singles players and they swept the Pirates in singles — something that hasn’t happened all year. Needing a boost from the doubles matches, Vashon bounced back with wins at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles by Hank Rogers/JJ Bogaard (6-3,6-3) and Marly Kott/Evan Keppler (6-4,6-4) tying the score 2-2.
The comeback stopped there, however, as SK was able to regroup and take a hard-fought win at No. 2 doubles, giving them a 3-2 victory. The Pirates JV players fared a little better getting in a lot of matches, including some rare JV singles matches. Coming away with wins were Mack Radic, Danny Baldinger, Lucas Schoenberg/Eli Gould, Nick Poole/Hatcher Freda and Teo Echardt/Levi Stahl.
Next up for the Pirates was Cascade Christian (CC) at home. This was “Senior Day” and the Pirates were lucky to squeeze this match in before a week of rain set in. The Pirates earned a 5-0 victory over the school.
Although the CC match was mainly about the teams’ seniors, the JV team was also nearing the end of their season. This year’s JVs have really progressed under Coach Rick Doussett. The team has an excellent record, and all members have worked really hard, played with a lot of grit and enthusiasm and get along great. Hopefully, they will all be back to fill in the spots left by the graduating seniors. They will start their post-season with the league tournament soon. The Pirates hope to advance as many players as possible from the League tournament to districts.
This year’s team success comes from its experience. The Pirates have nine seniors on this varsity squad — all of whom are fantastic players — and teammates. Each senior plays an important role in the team. All of these seniors have played on the tennis team for their entire time at VHS. Against CC, two of the Pirates’ top seniors could not play due to injury. Towner Anderson and JJ Bogaard sat this match out, but the remaining seniors were able to fill in successfully. Hank Rogers took a 6-1,6-0 win at No. 1 Singles and Kale Scheer, who normally plays doubles, stepped up for a strong 6-3,6-3 win. At No. 1 Doubles, Cam Bedard /and junior Zach Van Dusen took away a 6-1,6-3 win. Alex Hitchcock/Marley Kott, at #2 Doubles, followed that up with a 6-1,6-2 win and Connor Clarke/Chad Dublin completed the sweep 6-1,6-2. It was a great way for these seniors to finish their VHS tennis careers. The 5-0 win brought the Pirate record to 9-2 overall, 6-0 in the league.
— Pat Mulvihill is the assistant girls’ tennis coach for Vashon Island High School.