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Newport shuts out MI boys tennis
For the second consecutive year the Mercer Island boys tennis team faced its biggest test of the regular season during its first match. Newport and Mercer Island are the only teams to win the league title during each of the last six years.
But the 9-0 shutout by the Knights on Sept. 17 was the first, by either team, in a couple of years during what has become a very competitive rivalry.
“They played that much better,” said Mercer Island tennis coach Joyce Hedlund. “We had three courts going at the same time that were really close, and we just couldn’t pull them out.”
While the final team score would suggest a blowout, the actual matches were competitive to the end with four of the six singles matches going three sets.
“I thought the kids did well,” said Hedlund. “[Newport] has good depth.”
Hedlund said that she wished the match could have been later in the season for her young team to get more training. But she also admits that they probably would not have won the overall meet.
“It would have been closer, but that is the way it goes,” said Hedlund.
Islander junior Matt Ellis pushed his opponent to the limit during the No. 1 singles match with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-7(7-3) tie breaking loss.
At No. 2 singles, sophomore Max Franklin took his Newport opponent three sets during the 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 loss.
Eddie Jiranek also took his Newport opponent to three sets, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, but admits that he was not as experienced as his opponent in tight high school matches.
“He was tougher mentally,” said Jiranek. “He was able to stay in points better. He just played more consistent tennis.”
In his first KingCo match, Islander foreign exchange student Sebastian Schmidt also played three sets, eventually losing 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.
In doubles action the Islanders’ No. 1 team of Ellis and Jiranek finished with a match-shortened loss of 8-5.
“We have been working as a team at practice, but this was our first time playing a match together against Newport,” said Jiranek.
At No. 2, Franklin and Schmidt lost 8-4, while Mihir Parikh and Colin Ramsay lost in straight sets 6-2, 6-1 at No. 3 doubles.
Mercer Island bounced back Wednesday with a 6-3 victory at Skyline High School against the Spartans.
“It was good to get back into the win column that fast,” said Jiranek. “We were still a little flat, but it was nice to bounce back.”
The win came despite two of the top three Islander singles players taking a loss.
Ellis began the meet with a 6-3, 6-2 loss, and Jiranek lost at No. 3 singles 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Ellis got redemption as he played No. 1 doubles with Franklin and won in straight sets 6-2, 6-3.
Franklin led the team by earning a victory in No. 2 singles play 6-2, 7-6(7-4).
Schmidt played No. 3 singles and won 6-1, 6-2, while sophomore Matt Sedlacek won a 6-3, 6-2 match at No. 5 singles.
Islander Adam Coe picked up the final singles victory in straight sets 6-4, 6-1.
Ramsay and Parikh picked up a doubles victory 6-2, 6-2 against Skyline.
Mercer Island hosted Issaquah Monday (after Reporter deadline) and will travel to Mount Si for a 3:45 p.m. match with the Wildcats today.