Ryan Pang (pictured on the far right) poses for a photo with teammates Sam Schroerlucke, Chris Groer and Ross Duncan in Miami. Photo courtesy of Ryan Pang

Ryan Pang (pictured on the far right) poses for a photo with teammates Sam Schroerlucke, Chris Groer and Ross Duncan in Miami. Photo courtesy of Ryan Pang

Pang competes at ITF Young Seniors World Team Championships

Mercer Island tennis coach partakes in an experience of a lifetime.

Mercer Island Islanders boys tennis coach Ryan Pang always dreamed of competing in the International Tennis Federation Seniors World Team Championships.

Pang, who said he had wanted to make the team for seven years, finally got the opportunity to test his skills against some of the top competitors in the world. The 42-year-old Pang was part of a Men’s 40 & over team, which captured fifth place in the Trabert Cup in Miami. The competition, which took place from Oct. 21-26, is one of the highlights of Pang’s tennis career.

“I wasn’t even expecting to make the team. I got a call about six weeks before saying that they just had someone who is pulling out and they asked if I would be interested in taking his place. I was like heck yeah. I was thrilled, obviously,” Pang said.

Pang had just wrapped up the fall season coaching the Islanders boys tennis team to another undefeated season in KingCo league play.

“I had just spent the last couple of months focusing on the high school boys tennis season. It was the perfect time to do it (compete in Miami) because I was mentally fresh and hadn’t really been training that much. As soon as KingCo (tournament) ended, that is when I had to leave for Miami. It was perfect timing,” Pang said.

Pang said he played doubles for the majority of the tournament.

“For me personally, I like playing doubles because I can move really well. We also got to play on clay, which is one of my favorite surfaces to play on,” Pang explained. “It is interesting because everybody there was 40 and over. There was some big dudes there who were good players but some of them were slow once you got them moving one way, then if you hit it in the other direction it really worked and helped me quite a bit. I was able to move around and change directions even though the footing wasn’t that great.”

Pang described in detail the benefits and pitfalls of playing on a clay surface as opposed to a grass court or a hard court.

“I love playing on clay. When the ball bounces, it just sits there and allows you to track down a lot of shots. It is easier on your body, too, because it is such a soft surface. You can jump up and run around and there is no heavy banging that you would receive on other surfaces,” Pang said.

While Pang said he came into tournament fresh, he still had been active in the months prior to his arrival in Miami.

“I practice with the boys varsity team during the season. Most of them are pretty good so it’s really good practice for me, actually. If I don’t try hard against them, they could beat me. I also do the warmups, jogging and stretching with them so that helps. I’m able to stay in shape,” he said.

Mercer Island Islanders boys tennis head coach Ryan Pang (pictured) practices before a doubles match at the International Tennis Federation Seniors World Team Championships in Miami. Photo courtesy of Ryan Pang

Mercer Island Islanders boys tennis head coach Ryan Pang (pictured) practices before a doubles match at the International Tennis Federation Seniors World Team Championships in Miami. Photo courtesy of Ryan Pang

More in Sports

Mercer Island Islanders junior Adam Parker, left, looks for a teammate to pass to against the Juanita Rebels. Parker finished with a team-high 20 points against the Juanita Rebels on Dec. 11. The Islanders defeated the Rebels 56-49. Photo courtesy of Rick Edelman/Rick Edelman Photography
Islanders display grittiness in victory against the Rebels

Mercer Island hits clutch shots down the stretch against Juanita.

The Mercer Island Flames U-11 girls soccer team won the Washington Youth Soccer Regional Recreational Cup on Dec. 2. The Flames finished the 2018 season with an undefeated record of 16-0. Members of the Flame roster included Sophia Kinkead, Sabina Leveque, Scout Bates, Quincey Eskridge, Ciela Turner, Ashlyn Belden, Avery Oliver, Mia Sung, Chloe Mar, Bryanna Denmarsh, Amelie Swift, Gianna Tubach, Elianna Weiss and Cate Thomas. The team was coached by David Tubach, Adam Kinkead and Scott Weiss. Photo courtesy of David Tubach
Flame earn a coveted title on the soccer pitch

Local soccer team finishes the 2018 season with a 16-0 overall record.

Mercer Island Islanders senior swimmer James Richardson (pictured) captured first place in the 100 fly and 100 back at the Class 3A state swim and dive meet during his junior season. Richardson wants to lead his team to a Class 3A state championship in February of 2019 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. Photo courtesy of Scott Richardson
Richardson is a rising star in the pool

Mercer Island senior is striving to lead his team to a state title.

Perfection in dual meets was attained during the 2017 season for the Islanders boys swim team in KingCo contests in the pool.
                                The Islanders picked up where they left off last season, cruising to a 105-55 win in the season opener against the Bellevue Wolverines on Nov. 29. The Islanders swim program has now won eight consecutive KingCo dual swim meets since the 2017-18 season. Mercer Island has a wealth of experience returning to the varsity roster during the 2018-19 season. Alex Edwards, Daniel Gao, Jake Headrick, Evan Hill, Gabriel Neale, John Novak, Collin Rallston, James Richardson, Killian Riley, Nate Robinson, Ethan Schwartz and Kieran Watson were all on the varsity roster last season and return this year. Islanders athletes capturing first place against Bellevue in their respective events consisted of Justin Robinson (500 free, 50 free, 400 free relay, 200 medley relay), Schwartz (100 free, 400 free relay, 200 medley relay, 100 back), Rallston (200 medley relay, 200 free relay, 200 IM), Riley (200 free relay, 400 free relay), Carter Whipple (200 medley relay, 200 free relay), Connor Hanson (200 free relay) and John Novak (400 free relay). Photo courtesy of Scott Richardson
Islanders conquer rival in the pool

Mercer Island swim team defeats Bellevue in season opener.

Mercer Island Islanders seniors Stew Vassau, left, and Donnie Howard, right, signed their letters of committment on Nov. 19 to continue their lacrosse careers at the collegiate level. Vassau will play lacrosse for the University of Utah and Howard will continue his lacrosse career at Boston University. Mercer Island boys lacrosse head coach Ian O’Hearn, center, is pictured with his two collegiate bound players. Photo courtesy of Don Howard
Howard, Vassau sign on the dotted line

Mercer Island Islanders seniors Stew Vassau, left, and Donnie Howard, right, signed… Continue reading

The Mercer Island Islanders girls swim team earned a fifth-place finish at the Class 3A state swim meet on Nov. 10 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.
                                The 200 IM relay team consisting of Alexandra Williams, Grace Olsen, Cayla Prophater and Elie Bailey captured fifth place. The 200 free relay squad of Annie Pearse, Julia Williamson, Hailey Vandenbosch and Bailey finished in sixth place. The 400 free relay quartet of Pearse, Prophater, Vandenbosch and Williamson captured sixth place as well. Prophater earned fourth place in the 200 IM and third place in the 500 free. Sophia McGuffin registered a third-place finish in diving and Pearse finished in fifth place in the 100 free. Photo courtesy of Allison Nelson
Islanders earn fifth place at Class 3A state swim meet

Mercer Island swim team performs well at state swim competition.

Mercer Island senior midfielder Jackie Stenberg, right, tries to keep the ball away from Bonney Lake midfielder Summer Kober, left, in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs on Nov. 6 at Mercer Island High School. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Islanders cruise past Panthers in first round of state playoffs

Mercer Island pitches shutout against Bonney Lake.

A Mercer Island based tennis team, representing the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Pacific Northwest Section, captured the national title at the USTA League 40 Over 3.0 Men’s National Championships on Oct. 28 at the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, Alabama. The Mercer Island team, which is based out of of the Mercer Island Country Club, defeated a squad from San Francisco, California 3-2 in the title match. Members of the Mercer Island squad consisted of John Whipple, Bernard Hensey, Brian Rogers, Christopher Loiselle, Christopher Martin, Dean Martin, Dean Winston, Jeff Omara, Richard Aylen and Ryan Flynn. Photo courtesy of the United States Tennis Association
Mercer Island tennis team wins national title

Team based out of Mercer Island Country Club dominates at coveted tournament.

The Mercer Island Islanders boys water polo team earned a 19-1 win against Kennedy on senior night on Nov. 1. Mercer Island seniors pictured include Jacob Goldfarb, Tyler Robinson, Peter Davis, Cole Brittain, Will Cero, William Lacrampe, Leif Gullstad, Julian Rizza and Nate Robinson. Photo courtesy of Dawn Friedland
Mercer Island water polo team dominates Kennedy

Islanders dominate on senior night.

The Mercer Island Islanders girls swim team earned third place as a team at the Class 3A SeaKing district championships on Nov. 3 at Mary Wayte Pool on Mercer Island. The 200 medley relay team consisting of Alex Williams, Grace Olsen, Cayla Prophater and Julia Williamson captured fourth place. The 200 free relay team of Ellie Bailey, Annie Pearse, Williamson and Olsen earned fifth place. The 400 free relay team of Hailey Vandenbosch, Prophater, Pearse and Bailey captured fifth place.
                                Islanders’ junior Sophia McGuffin earned first place in the diving portion of the meet. Bailey earned eighth place in the 50 free and 10th place in the 100 free. Sophomore Grace Lennington captured 10th place in the 500 free. Senior Chloe Mark earned ninth place in the 200 free and sixth place in the 500 free. Olsen finished in ninth place in the 200 IM and sixth place in the 100 breaststroke. Pearse registered a third-place finish in the 50 free and third place in the 100 free. Prophater finished in fifth place in the 200 IM and third place in the 500 free. Mira Tang captured ninth place in the 100 back. Vandenbosch earned 10th place in the 200 free and ninth place in the 100 fly. Williams finished in sixth place in the 100 back. Williamson earned ninth place in the 50 free and eighth place in the 100 free. Sophomore Katie Williamson finished in fifth place in the 100 back. Photo courtesy of Allison Nelson
Islanders girls swim team earns third place at districts

The Mercer Island Islanders girls swim team earned third place as a… Continue reading

Mercer Island Islanders freshman Kai Zettel (pictured) earned 36th place with a time of 17:01.2 at the Class 3A Sea-King District II championships on Oct. 25 in Seattle. Photo courtesy of Jay Na
Making an impact on the trails

The future is bright for Mercer Island freshman cross country runner Kai Zettel.

Mercer Island Islanders senior cross country athlete Maggie Baker advanced to the Class 3A state meet for four consecutive seasons from 2015 through 2018. Photo courtesy of Jay Na
A pillar of the program

Mercer Island senior Maggie Baker advances to the state cross country meet for fourth straight year.