Mercer Island boys, girls tennis team win 3A titles

Both the Mercer Island girls and boys tennis teams won the 3A state titles last weekend during the 3A state tournament in the Tri Cities.

Both teams beat the second-place team by one point. The girls earned 20 over Bainbridge, while the boys beat out Seattle Prep with 16 points.

“It went well, it was such an enjoyable weekend and really it was a team effort,” said boys head coach Jamie Dieveney.

In the boys singles tournament, Jordan Smith took second place overall, earning his spot in the finals by beating Zach Zosanke from Bellevue and Alex Casper from Meadowdale. He won his first round match against Rob Benedict of Columbia River. The singles champion was Reid deLaubenfelds from Nathan Hale.

Islander Zack Elliot took eighth place overall, after losing to Jordan Richardson of Lakes in the first round. In the consolation bracket, he beat Dan Snyder of Everett, 2-0, and earned another 2-0 win over Brendan Soelling, also of Everett, in the consolation semifinals. He lost to Anthony Litchfield in the sixth/eighth place game.

In the 3A boys doubles competition, Jared Thomas and Andrew Smith earned eighth place overall. The duo lost their first round match to a team from Kennedy, but beat Aaron Lince and Josh Waterhouse from Eastmont, 2-0, and earned another 2-0 over Peter Koessler and Josiah Thomas from Wilson in the semifinals. Thomas and Smith lost to Scott Alderson and Matt Alderson from Bainbridge Island in the sixth/eighth place game.

“The competition was pretty touch, but they stepped it up,” said their coach. "I thought our captains played phenomenally."

The second doubles team of Erik Snyder and Jeremy Chow lost their first match to Trevor Jones and Dan Garmire of Mountain View, before winning their first consolation game over a team from Glacier Peak. Their season ended when they lost in a long battle to Scott Alderson and Matt Alderson from Bainbridge Island in a 7-6 (3-7), 6-4, 6-0 match.

"Erik and Jeremy had a strong three set match and if we hadn't gotten those two points, we wouldn't have won it," said Dieveney. "Zach, it was like he was learning before my eyes. It was his first time to state and Jared he played so hard. He beat one of the top guys early on and there was just a buzz in the air about him. You couldn't ask for more."

In the girls competition, the Islanders won their third straight team title.

"It went great," said head coach Mindy Blakeslee. "It was really exciting that the boys won too. We had more drama than last year when we knew we won after the first day. This year it was down to the very last match so it was suspenseful. Every person contributed."

Individually, Chelsea Bailey took third overall. She beat Lauren McCann from Capital in the first round of the tournament on Friday, and beat Bekah Waterhouse from Eastmond in the quarterfinals. She faced off against Sasha Carter from Bainbridge Island in the semifinals, losing 2-0. Carter would go on to take second place overall. In the consolation bracket, Bailey beat Sierra Troxel from Hanford for the individual trophy.

Mercer Island’s second singles competitor in the girls tournament, Karissa Walker, lost her first round to Maggie Henderson from Auburn Mountainview, and lost her second match of the afternoon to Meera Limaye from Shorecrest, to end her season.

"I always hope for individual titles, and it would have been nice for Chelsea as a senior to get the singles title, but it was close," said Blakeslee. "I was thrilled she got third and she did it convincingly. She did great and winning those eight points were huge."

In the doubles tournament, Kelly Crandall and Nora Tan took second overall. They opened the two day event by beating Francessa O’Malley and Dinalella Brengelmann from Shorewood, followed by beating league opponents Kelly Watanbe and Jessica Lund from Lake Washington. In the semi-finals Crandall and Tan beat Carley Riehl and Carley Schmidt from West Valley. In the championship match, against Grace Porter and Kate Jameson from Bainbridge, the Islander duo lost 2-1.

Islander doubles team Sophia Gage and Erica Baska took eighth place overall. The team lost to a team from Columbia River in the first round, and beat a Glacier Peak duo in the second round. In the consolation semi-finals they beat Jenna Grillo and Shari Gray from Mountain View to earn spot in the sixth/eighth place game.

Blakeslee said that for Gage and Baska, after facing the top Bainbridge team in districts and then again in state, it was a tough draw, but was good experience for the younger Gage.

"To lose that match was a bummer. They did great and Sophia now has this experience and I hope she'll come back even harder next year," said the coach.

Overall, Blakeslee said she hoped the girls had a great time this season, felt like they were part of the team, something they continue to stress and improved their tennis skills.

"It really showed this year, winning as a team with no individual titles," she said. "They supported each other and the boys. I hope they have a sense of accomplishment."


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