Mount Si's tennis road ends at Skyline, Kingco championships

Wrapping up last week, the Mount Si tennis team sent six to league and had their winningest season in at least seven years.

The season ended with two team wins over Liberty this season, and with a strong contingent heading to the KingCo 3A playoffs Tuesday, Oct. 18, at Skyline High School.

Senior Azhar Khandekar started off against number-one seed and tournament finalist Zach Kosanke of Bellevue, falling 6-0, 6-0. He went out after a better showing against Liberty’s Michael Pavant, 7-6, 6-2.

Senior Jordan Koppa was draw no. 8, playing draw no. 9, Connor Ross of Lake Washington. He fell 6-0 in two sets, then went out against Bellevue’s Will Hwang.

In doubles, junior Josh Hamann and freshman Matthew Griffin were draw no. 2, playing Justice Canley and Tyler Le of Liberty, falling 6-3, 6-1. Hamann and Griffin then played Starr Wen and Dion Sagafi of Bellevue. Seniors Alex Pease and Nate Popp were draw no. 8, playing Lake Washington’s Jake Nash and Ryan Lustgarten, falling 6-2, 6-2. The duo fell to Alex Wallin and Ethan Ludlam of Juanita, 6-4, 6-3.

Mount Si’s boys were strong in their final season meet, Oct. 13 at Liberty—particularly the singles players, who led the Wildcats to a 4-3 win. Hamann, in the number-one spot, bested Patriot Michael Payant, 6-1, 6-1. At number two, Popp fended off Brandon Yan, 7-5, 6-2. At number three,  Khandekar handled Liberty’s Blake Reeve, 6-4, 6-2.  In doubles, the duo of sophomore Kevin McLaughlin and Griffin bested Jacob Lindstrom and Brian Linnenkamp, 6-4, 6-2.

Head coach Jim Gibowski praised his strong senior class, which included three-year players Jordan Koppa and Khandekar, Jake Rouches, Jake Miller, Pease, Clint Christensen, and Popp, who was on junior varsity last year but bloomed as a player and became the number-two singles figure.

“This was a really good group of kids,” Gibowski said.

Next year, the team looks to be even deeper, and the Wildcats could compete with Liberty, Juanita and Sammamish. The most important thing, Gibowski said, is that the teammates improve their game and build a lifelong love of the sport.

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