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SLIDESHOW: Mount Si tennis team chemistry grows amid challenging season
Mount Si’s girls tennis team fell 2-5 against Lake Washington Tuesday, April 12, at home. But there were some high points for the ‘Cats. Mount Si’s number one doubles duo Lauren Wood and Lindsay Masters won in two sets, 6-4 and 7-5. The Wildcats’ number-three doubles team of Megan McCallum and Amanda Gates also won their two sets. Lake Washington edged out Mount Si’s number-four singles player Trina Eck, who was Mount Si’s contender for a third win.
Eck ran out of gas, but “we’re trying to fill her up,” coach Eric Hansen said.
Mount Si’s top singles players, Bailey Barnard and Shelby Thomas, fell in their games to strong Kang opponents.
Mount Si is traditionally strong on doubles, and that’s doubly so this season.
“Since we don’t have court time as much, we just have to defend half a court; and it’s quicker,” Hansen said. “We really work on being aggressive.”
Masters, a four-year returner, said she and Wood are developing chemistry.
“We were able to communicate and play to each other’s strengths,” she said. “We talked about the other team and strategized. That’s half the game of tennis.”
She and Wood pegged their opponent’s styles; for instance, Masters predicted frequent returns down the alley, and hit accordingly.
“Because we were able to identify their weaknesses, we played to our advantage,” Masters said.
When Wood and Masters made an error or hit the ball into the net, they laughed it off, then got back into the game.
Masters is the most improved player of the season, in Hansen’s view.
“When I started freshman year, I was second to last on the ladder in JV,” she said. “I came in here and hit on the wall in the third gym so much, I think all the extra hits have paid off.”
Masters started in singles tennis, then switched back and forth to doubles.
“They both have something unique about them. I like both games,” she said.
With Mount Si 0-4 as a team, the young Wildcats are awaiting good weather to build actual outdoors experience.
“They’ve competed well, gone to three sets, tiebreakers, but we just haven’t pushed over the edge yet,” Hansen said.
Last Monday was only their fifth practice on a court.
“We are the rainiest in KingCo,” the coach said. “We need to have more court time so we can judge the ball. I tell everyone, we start slow and finish strong, and we surprise people. We will get better just by working hard. But we do need to get on the court.”
Mount Si visits Redmond Wednesday, April 20, and is home against Interlake Thursday, 3:45 p.m.