By Rick Doussett
For The Beachcomber
The Vashon Pirates are off to a good start this season with four victories and one defeat.
This season differs from the previous season in that the league adopted a new configuration of play. There are now three singles matches and two doubles matches. Previously it was two singles and three doubles.
Of our four victories all were conference schools, including Anne Wright 3-1-1 DNF (did not finish due to rain or a court availability stoppage), East Jefferson 5-0; Life Christian 4-1; and Cascade Christian 3-1-1 DNF.
Our 2-3 loss came from Curtis High School in a “friendly non-conference.”
Also new this season is the addition of Klahowya, Eatonville and East Jefferson which is comprised of Chimacum and Port Angeles schools.
The program enjoyed a large turnout this year with 29 student-athletes signing up for the sport. The team also has a new head coach, Rick Doussett, taking over from long-time skipper Pat Mulvihill, as well as a new assistant coach, Todd Zimberg.
There are several returning seniors to the program, which include the team’s number one singles player Evan Keppler, as well as Levi Stahl, Teo Eckhardt, Ryder Jones, Caleb Hecht, Nick Poole and Mack Radic. This gives the team some needed depth, but by no means, are they the only varsity players contributing to our success.
The remainder of the squad are sophomore Colin McIntyre playing #2 singles, who is now undefeated, junior Nick Zuckerman playing #3 singles, sophomore Finn Hawkins, and junior Moses Trundle-Strachan, playing #1 doubles.
The #2 doubles team has consisted of junior Hatcher Freda, junior Danny Baldinger, Stahl, Jones and Radic. Caleb Hecht played at the #1 Doubles position for one meet and is currently out with injury.
There are also a number of very promising junior varsity players who will no doubt be the future of the program. My best characterization of this squad is that they exhibit the grit to outlast their opponents in achieving victory.
A very special thank you goes out to our Vashon Tennis community, including Marcus Gautesen, Drew Piston, Eli Stahl and Andre (last name not known) for their volunteer efforts as hitting partners. Also, we warmly appreciate all the parents, students and tennis enthusiasts who are supporting the team at home games.