By Rick Doussett
For The Beachcomber
With a record of 7-1 in league play (10-2 overall), the VHS boys tennis team is the 2021 Nisqually League Champion.
The District Championships were played on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 4 and 5, the 4th at the Jupiter Tennis Center in Edgewood. All eight teams from the league pit their individual players against each other using a modified single-elimination format. The Tennis Commissioner and league coaches hammered out a seeding structure on Monday before the tourney.
Vashon’s number one singles player, Evan Keppler, was awarded the number two seed, very advantageous. Vashon’s number two singles player, Colin McIntyre, was awarded the 10th seed. The doubles teams of Hatcher Freda and Danny Baldinger had the sixth seed, with Finn Hawkins and Moses Trundle-Strachan receiving the 10th seed.
Championship team points are awarded by finishing position and the team with the highest point count wins the Tournament.
For VHS, it was a tough two days. The constant rain during the previous two weeks resulted in a lack of practice time, which took its toll.
Evan Keppler won his first match, 6-1, 6-1, over the 15th seed Owen Hayes from Annie Wright School and subsequently in the second round over Colin McIntyre (VHS) 6-4, 6-2. These victories put him into semi-final action scheduled for the next day.
Colin McIntyre (VHS) won his first match 6-0, 7-6 over Adin Smith from Cascade Christian School, then lost to Keppler (VHS) in his next match as noted prior. It was a great sophomore season for him.
Finn Hawkins and Moses Trundle-Strachan were eliminated, 2-6, 6-7, by Mitchell/Bergman, Klahowya Senior School, on the first day.
Hatcher Freda and Danny Baldinger won over Baker/Naton from Eatonville High School, 6-5, 5-7 and 10/6 in the third set tiebreaker. They were eliminated by Jung/Holman, from Cascade Christian, in their next match, 5-7, 4-6, ending their season.
The second day of the tournament saw VHS with only one player remaining. Keppler made the semifinals and fell in straight sets to Life Christians Jani Martin in a match that was closer than the score, 4-7 and 6-7, would indict.
Keppler played a consolation match against the Charles Wright Academy player, Parth Jain, who also got the upper hand, 0-6, 2-6, eliminating VHS from the competition. What a wild ride! Hoping for better results next season.
— Rick Doussett is Vashon Island School District’s tennis coach.