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Girls tennis wins KingCo, finishes undefeated in conference
With Mercer Island’s 7-0 victory over Bellevue Tuesday, May 6 at Bellevue High School, Mercer Island tennis wrapped up not only the KingCo title, but also finished its season undefeated as a team in KingCo competition.
After winning KingCo, head coach Mindy Blakeslee praised the commitment from her players, crediting the girls for putting the time in both during and outside regular practice hours.
“They’re driven, talented and understand the tradition with the program,” said Blakeslee of her team. “They worked really hard and they deserved it. Everybody played. We have a big roster of 16 girls and every single person contributed.”
In Tuesday’s singles competition, Lydia Venditti defeated Ally Du 6-0, 6-0, Gabby Venditti beat Nomuntya 6-0, 6-0, Sarah Sweet won over Meredith Barry 6-1, 6-1 and Melanie Lee beat Crystal Chon 6-1, 6-2. In doubles action, Caroline Dillon and Caroline Hamilton beat Tracy Monk-Karen Park 6-1, 6-2, Jamie Mounger and Catherine Seifert defeated Corey Chang and Shayna McDonald 6-4, 7-5 and Miji Suhr and Sammy Sweet won over Anna Floyd and Meagan Moran 6-3, 6-0.
Senior captain Caroline Dillon attributed the Islanders' success to the team's unity and work ethic, as well as their desire to improve.
“I think the reason we won KingCo is because we all play tennis not to do a sport, but because we all love the game,” said Dillon. “As a team, we collectively love tennis and have a passion to work toward improving our game.”
Heading into the postseason, the Islanders will advance Melanie Lee, Sammy Sweet and Sarah Sweet in singles competition and doubles teams of Mounger and Suhr, Dillon and Hamilton and the Venditti sisters, as the Islanders gun for its sixth straight state title.
While Blakeslee admits the Islanders have their work cut out for them with stiff competition coming from a talented Holy Names squad, the Mercer Island coach said her team’s approach will be to focus on themselves and not their opponents.
“We’re going to try and focus on what we can do on the court and speak with our rackets.”