The Vashon Boys tennis team finished the regular season on a positive note.
The team started its fifth week with a final matchup with Charles Wright, having dropped the first two rounds by scores of 4-1 and 3-2. Charles Wright had already wrapped up the league title, but the Pirates hoped to continue their improvement with a win against their nemesis.
Although the team played better overall, it was not to be. Despite some close matches, the Pirates came up short, 4-1. The lone win came at No. 2 doubles where Cam Bedard and Zach Van Dusen reversed an earlier loss with a convincing 6-2, 6-2 win. While the overall loss was frustrating, the Pirates were much more competitive as a team. At No. 1 doubles, the Pirates’ lone senior, Mason Rice, playing with JJ Bogaard, celebrated Senior Day by pushing an excellent Charles Wright team — the defending league/district champs — to a tight third set tiebreaker. The Pirates were more competitive at No. 3 doubles and No. 1 singles — all good signs for the future. Unfortunately, the Pirates’ match with Franklin Pierce the next day was rained out, as was a much-anticipated matchup with Seattle Academy.
The following week, the Pirates started with an away match, where they came away with a 4-1 win over a surprisingly scrappy Cascade Christian team.
At No. 1 singles, Hank Rogers reversed an earlier loss to Cascade’s No. 1 with a remarkable comeback, winning the last five games in the third set to cap a 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 win. Marley Kott lost a close third set decision at No. 2 singles, so the match was up to the Pirate doubles teams — all of whom had to overcome rocky starts. At No. 1 doubles, Alex Hitchcock and Sam Profit eventually settled in for a 7-5, 6-2 win. At No. 2 doubles, Chad Dublin and Kale Scheer dropped the first set before winning the next two and sealing a Vashon victory. In the final matchup, No. 3 doubles Mack Radic and Lucca Shattuck completed the comeback with a third set tiebreaker win. All day, the Pirates made it hard on themselves with inconsistent play and had to really fight to come away with a win.
The next match was against Annie Wright at home, and the Pirates came out much more focused. Jon Maciejewski won handily at No. 1 singles, as did Evan Keppler at No. 2 singles. Both seemed focused and ready for their first singles matches of the year. At No. 1 doubles, Alex Hitchcock and Connor Clarke played a solid match and came away with a 6-0, 6-0 win. At No. 2 doubles, Kale Scheer and Diego Escame-Hedger took another straight sets win, as did Jackson Mallory and Gus Holmes at No. 3 doubles.
Because both Cascade and Annie Wright have small teams, there were not many junior varsity matches over the past two weeks. But many of the Pirate JV players were able to play (and win) varsity matches — demonstrating a deep, talented team all year long. The team finished the regular season 9-3 with all three losses to a strong Charles Wright team.
The season will wind down as the team focuses on the league tournament, sending two singles and two doubles teams to Tacoma this Thursday. Qualifiers from that tournament will play in the district tournament Oct. 24-25, and a top finish there qualifies for state.
Regardless of how things go at the league and district tournaments, this was a deep and talented team that played at a high level most of the time.
— Pat Mulvihill, VHS tennis coach