Sports

Boys tennis takes doubles title

Islander doubles team Andrew Smith, left, and Max Franklin talk strategy during the KingCo League Championship tournament finals at Mercer Island Country Club, Friday. - Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter
Islander doubles team Andrew Smith, left, and Max Franklin talk strategy during the KingCo League Championship tournament finals at Mercer Island Country Club, Friday.
— image credit: Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter

For the second year in a row, Mercer Island’s No. 1 doubles team has won the KingCo 3A title.

And while Max Franklin returns as a champion, his partner is new to the championship thing.

“He gives me advice, and he has been there before,” said Andrew Smith, Franklin’s new partner.

The partnership was so new that the tournament was the first time that the two have teamed up in KingCo match play.

“I’m in a different roll this year,” said Franklin. “But I think it brought out the best in both of us.”

The duo surged through to the finals of the tournament, dropping just one set in seven sets played. The finals were not very competitive, either, as the Islanders beat Chad Nunn and Andrew Nguyen of Sammamish in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5.

“This tournament was difficult playing at three different locations,” said Mercer Island coach Joyce Hedlund. “It was good for the boys, and it was nice to have six boys playing on the final day.”

Franklin’s partner from last year played singles this time, losing during the semi-finals to Juanita’s James Russell, 6-2, 6-2.

Ellis entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed, earning a first-round bye. Ellis then disposed of Mike Mandell of Sammamish, 6-0, 6-1.

“I thought it would be best for the team if we had one strong doubles team and one strong singles player,” said Ellis.

Ellis has yet to play teammate Jordan Smith for the No. 3 and 4 seeds to districts.

Smith also had a first-round bye and then won in straight sets during the second round. Smith eventually lost during the semifinals, 7-6(7-3), 6-0.

The Islanders’ final entrant into the tournament was the doubles team of Matt Stofsky and Matt Sedlacek. The combo blazed through the first round with a 6-2, 6-2 win, but lost during the second round, 6-3, 6-1.

Stofsky and Sedlacek then competed for the No. 3 seed to districts but lost to Zach Kosanke and C.J. Smeraldo of Bellevue, 6-1, 6-1.

All of the players will have plenty of time to work on their games, as the district tournament will not take place until spring.

“I want to devote my entire six months to tennis,” said Smith.

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