In matches played the week of Oct. 4 to 8, the Pirates played three schools, venturing off-island for a “friendly” meet with Eatonville on Oct. 4, and then hosting Charles Wright Academy on Oct. 6 and Cascade Christian on Oct. 8.
The Eatonville meet took place on a beautiful fall afternoon with Mt. Rainier lording over the proceedings. Evan Keppler (#1 singles) made quick work of Justin Hietpas (6-1, 6-2). The real battle was at #2 singles (6-4, 5-1, ret.) when Colin McIntyre and Brody Thirtyacre were at it for just short of two hours. It finally ended with the Eatonville player retiring with an ankle injury deep in the second set. Another tight first set was won by Finn Hawkins and Moses Trundle-Strachan (#1 Doubles) (7-5) followed by a quick (6-1) victory. Hatcher Freda and Danny Baldinger (#2 Doubles) met little resistance winning 6-1, 6-2. Nick Zuckerman took the court last and blasted through his opponent 6-0, 6-0. Mack Radic and Charley Walker played a third doubles match, succeeding 6-1, 6-4. The meet score was 6-1.
Charles Wright Academy has been historically Vashon’s nemesis. Nothing has changed as the meet had some tense moments between two equally matched squads. Their #1 singles player, Parth Jain, was dominant over Evan Keppler in the first set, 6-1. Keppler turned on the burners and pulled out the second set (6-3) only to come up short in the third set tiebreaker 5-10. Colin McIntyre had another marathon match, this time, against Daniel Donner who proved to be the better player that day. (2-6, 5-7). Number 3 Singles saw Nick Zuckerman best Levi Goldberg in three hard-fought sets (5-7, 6-1, 10/3). Finn Hawkins and Moses Trundle-Strachan (#1 Doubles) played a heartbreaker against Sam Brink and Conner Iverson, falling 2-6, 6-0 and 6-10). The other VHS victory for the meet came from Hatcher Freda and Danny Baldinger (#2 Doubles) who took a decisive win over Justin Dunk and Will Turner (6-1, 6-3). This was the first conference loss for VHS, with a meet score of 2-3.
Kudos and respect, first, go to Cascade Christian’s coach, Jeff Crumb, for finding a way to get his team onto Vashon during the shutdown of the Tahlequah/Pt. Defiance ferry route on Friday.
Vashon’s second meet with Cascade Christian turned out much the same as our first, with Evan Keppler blasting past Mitchell Holman 6-0, 60. Colin McIntyre took a long first set off Adin Smith (6-4) then cruised to a 6-0 second set decider. Nick Zuckerman didn’t put a foot wrong in his victory over Tre Chadic (6-1, 6-0). Finn Hawkins and new partner Ryder Jones (#2 Doubles) orchestrated a workman-like performance over Isaac Smith and Christian Toline (6-4,6-2). The match of the meet (#1 Doubles) came down to Danny Baldinger and Hatcher Freda against Nick Jung and Kaleb Zetterberg. These were the last four players on the courts and were cheered on by supporters in a packed bleacher scene. All players, parents and passers-by were treated to a tense and perfectly matched contest with the outcome deciding the meet. They split sets with each team achieving a tie-break victory (7-6, 6-7). The final set was decided by the slimmest of margins, 10/6. The meet score was 4-1.