Not losing focus | Prep boys tennis preview

MIHS tennis team captains for 2014 are from left, Ian Platou, Brian Hou and Ben Elliott. - Joseph Livarchik/Mercer Island Reporter
MIHS tennis team captains for 2014 are from left, Ian Platou, Brian Hou and Ben Elliott.
— image credit: Joseph Livarchik/Mercer Island Reporter

After winning its fourth-consecutive state tennis title last spring, confidence remains high with Mercer Island boys tennis as the team prepares for the fall campaign. While the Islanders have good reason, head coach Ryan Pang is making sure his team keeps its focus and doesn’t get complacent.

“Just because it’s Mercer Island tennis doesn’t mean that they step on the court and they’re going to win the match automatically,” he said.

“This year, Bellevue’s going to be tough, Newport’s going to be tough. I think there’s a little bit more motivation behind every practice and every match we play prior to those two big matches. We’re not necessarily going to walk over everybody.”

The boys tennis team only lost two members from last year’s squad, but those two players were state qualifiers Henry Smith and Matt Seifert. Smith took sixth at state in singles competition, while Seifert was one-half of Mercer Island’s state doubles title winners.  Still, returning a significant number of players from last year’s team, the Islanders believe the ball is in their court and matches will be as close as they make it.

“I’m asking that they stay focused, stay motivated and have something in mind they want to work on each time they go on the court,” said Pang. “Anyone, even the best players, if their head is somewhere else, they could easily lose a match. It’s making sure that every time they step on the court, they have something motivating them to perform.”


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