Mercer Island tennis fights the rain in early season

Mercer Island singles player Julia Zook returns a ball during her game against Alizon Martin of Liberty last Tuesday. Zook won in two games. - Megan Managan/Mercer Island Reporter
Mercer Island singles player Julia Zook returns a ball during her game against Alizon Martin of Liberty last Tuesday. Zook won in two games.
— image credit: Megan Managan/Mercer Island Reporter

After an unusually dry winter, it only makes sense that Mother Nature would try to make up for it with a wet and chilly spring. But the weather it is wreaking havoc with the Mercer Island girls tennis season.

“Unfortunately, we’ve had a few rain-outs lately. Some consistency in our schedule would be nice, so we can get our matching in and have some good practices, too,” said head coach Mindy Blakeslee. The team, despite the rain, is off to a 4-0 start after beating Liberty at home last Tuesday. The girls were supposed to play at Skyline on Thursday afternoon, but a combination of rain, hail and snow postponed the match. Despite the weather complications, Blakeslee said things are going well.

“Things are progressing well,” she said. “We started out strong by winning the David Coke Classic in Yakima against some tough teams from Eastern Washington, and we’ve continued to do well in our league matches, beating Sammamish, Interlake, Mt. Si and Liberty convincingly, so far.”

Even with the undefeated record, that does not mean the team has not been challenged.

“So far, our toughest matches have been in singles,” said the coach. “Chelsea Bailey won a tough three setter against Anisa Swift-Bryant from Sammamish at No. 1 singles, and Erica Baska toughed out a tight three setter at No. 4 singles at Mt. Si.”

While the singles side of the team is proving their stature in every match, Blakeslee said she is still negotiating the doubles side, figuring out who makes the best pairs. Early in the season, Blakeslee said she wanted to try different matches and really see what duos complimented each other.

“No decisions have been made yet,” said Blakeslee. “It’s still early and I’m getting a feel for how all the girls play. We are such a deep team. It’s wide open.”

The Islanders will host Lake Washington at home on Thursday starting at 3:45 p.m. and will travel to Roosevelt on April 20.


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