Sports

Former rival no match for Mercer Island boys | Islander tennis one win away from title

Islander Glen Kelton returns a volley during singles match play against Newport at the Mercer Island Country Club, Oct. 13. - Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter
Islander Glen Kelton returns a volley during singles match play against Newport at the Mercer Island Country Club, Oct. 13.
— image credit: Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter

When 3A KingCo was realigned prior to the start of the season, Mercer Island lost its biggest rival, Newport, to the 4A ranks.

But despite the lack of in-league implications, Mercer Island and Newport engaged in a fierce competition that the Islanders won 6-3 on Oct. 13 at the Mercer Island Country Club.

“Newport always comes to play us,” said Mercer Island coach Joyce Hedlund.

Mercer Island was led by its doubles teams, which only lost one match during the meet. Singles players Matt Ellis, Max Franklin, Jordan Smith and Andrew Smith all went home victorious.

The rivalry with Newport, which has been built on nearly 10 years of tough matches, has not been eclipsed this season in 3A KingCo, as Mercer Island has dominated play.

The Islander boys continued to dominate by defeating Mount Si, Interlake and Liberty with a combined score of 25-2.

The four-meet schedule would hurt any other team without Mercer Island’s depth.

“It gave me a chance to give some of the boys a day off and get everyone rotated in,” said Hedlund.

Those victories leave Mercer Island undefeated in league play with one league meet left on the schedule.

The Islanders will host Bellevue tomorrow at 3:45 p.m. in a non-league contest. The Wolverines’ only loss this season came to the Islanders in a league game.

Mercer Island’s final game of the regular season took place against Sammamish on Tuesday (after Reporter deadline). A win would have clinched the KingCo title.

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