Mercer Island tennis goes 3-0 during busy week

Mercer Island
Mercer Island's Kristine Melin and Julia Glick compete in doubles action against Garfield Wednesday, April 2 at Mercer Island High School. Glick and Melin beat Garfield's Ava Zech and Clair Baker 6-4, 6-2.
— image credit: Willy Paine/Contributed photo

The Mercer Island girls tennis team capped a busy week Wednesday, April 2, beating Garfield 5-2 in a nonconference matchup at Mercer Island High School. It was the team's third match win in three days, keeping Islander tennis undefeated this season. The Islanders were scheduled to compete for four consecutive days due to rainout reschedules, but had its April 3 match with Seattle Prep postponed due to, surprise, rain.

Tennis coach Mindy Blakeslee said dealing with reschedules is nothing new for Mercer Island tennis.

"It's part of being a spring sport," said Blakeslee with a laugh after the Garfield match. "Four [matches] is a lot, though. I pushed hard not to have four this week, but with spring break being next week, we had to get them in."

The Bulldogs scored a couple of singles wins with Garfield's Alexia Fite outlasting Lydia Venditti 7-6, 3-6, 1-0 (10-2), and Alex Ferry getting past Melanie Lee 6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (10-6). Mercer Island's Gabby Venditti won over Ariel Steinback 6-1, 6-2, and Caroline Hamilton defeated Caroline Sharp 6-0, 6-0. In the doubles matches, Sammy and Sarah Sweet defeated Sophie Manum and Natalie Sharp 6-1, 6-2. Miji Suhr and Catherine Seifert beat Celine Steinback and Sakura Kishiro 6-4, 6-4, and Julia Glick and Kristine Melin won over Ava Zech and Clair Baker 6-4, 6-2.

The week began for Mercer Island with a twice-rescheduled match against Sammamish finally taking place Monday, March 31 at Sammamish High School. Thehe Islanders beat the Totems, 7-0. Melanie Lee defeated Tina Liu 6-4, 6-0, Caroline Hamilton beat Ha Nguyen 6-0, 6-0, Miji Suhr beat Jessica Jou 6-1, 6-0 and Kimia Preston won over Katie Lachasse 6-0, 6-0. In doubles, Caroline Dillon and Jamie Mounger beat Daniel McCormach and Jama Gantulsa 6-4, 6-3, Catherine Seifert and Fiona Brasfeld won over Olivia Tremblay and Jennifer Chi 6-1, 6-0, and Chloe Gage and Kelly Hanschen defeated Taryn Okamoto and Brenda Lee 6-1, 6-0.

Mercer Island followed Monday's road victory with another win on the road, beating Interlake 7-0 Tuesday at Interlake High School. Mercer Island's Venditti twins each scored three-set wins in singles competition, with Lydia Venditti winning over Lina Larson 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-7) and Gabby Venditti defeating Isabelle Long 5-7, 6-1, 1-0 (10-5). Sarah Sweet beat Melissa Long 6-4, 6-2, and Sammy Sweet won over Shreya Singh 6-0, 6-2. In the doubles matches, Caroline Hamilton and Caroline Dillon defeated Brigette Long and Kate Chen 6-4, 6-1. Melanie Lee and Miji Suhr beat Julia Liu and Vickie Zlatinova 6-1, 7-5, and Catherine Seifert and Fiona Brasfeld won over Sophie Wang and Jane Higa 6-4, 6-3.

Amidst the whirlwind week of matches, Blakeslee said she thought her team was a little tired and that her heart goes out to the kids on the team. As a mother of two daughters in high school, she understands they have a lot on their plate.

"It's hard on them because they have so much homework," she said. "I warned them ahead of time it was going to be like this. I told them the good news is that spring break is next week, and [they'll] have some time to rest and relax, but to really be thoughtful about [their] homework and get it done. The workload these kids have, with sports and everything, it's hard. I feel for them."

Blakeslee said her team won't practice over the break and hopes they'll be able to rest and relax over spring break. "We'll come back rejuvenated and hopefully get some nice weather and longer daylight hours. Then it turns into a nice spring sport."

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