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Self improvement: Wins for Mount Si tennis’ Reid, McLaughlin in final league match; KingCo ahead | Photo gallery
For a guy who, for all intents and purposes, never handled a tennis racket before this fall, Allen Reid carries himself pretty well on the court.
Reid, a senior who came to the game from baseball and lacrosse, has a strong right arm and good forehand swing. Self taught, he’s still working on his backhand. A most-improved player on the Mount Si varsity team, Reid’s super-tie-breaker win was a highlight of Mount Si’s struggle with Liberty last Tuesday, Oct. 9 at Tibbetts Valley Park in Issaquah.
In their final sets of the season, Reid and junior Kevin McLaughlin won their sets. Mount Si ended up falling 2-5 to the Patriots, but the final score doesn’t reflect how close Mount Si was to a major win.
McLaughlin, Mount Si’s no. 3 singles player, had a tough first set, falling to Robert Cunningham, 4-6, but went on to take the win, 6-4, 6-3.
At no. 1 singles, Mount Si’s Josh Hamann won his first set against the Patriots’ Marek Pierepiekarz, 6-1, but struggled in the second set, 3-6 and fell 0-6 in the third.
Matthew Griffin, the no. 2 singles player, had a tough opening set against Justice Canley, but won his second round 6-2. After that tough first round, coach “told me to hit to his backhand,” Griffin said. “I won that, pretty badly for him.” The third set, however, didn’t go the junior’s way; Griffin went 3-6 in the final.
At no. 4 singles, Reid took down Matthew Cao of Liberty in two sets, 6-1, 7-6, ending in the tie-breaker.
Reid says he was surprised to fall behind in the first set, but “Once I was five-zip, I just let it all fly.”
The wins stacked up, and he took it in stride.
“Six games went by and the super tie-breaker came up. That was interesting,” the senior said.
Reid had lost to his Liberty foe in their prior matchup this season.
He felt the intensity of the match—“my hands started sweating”—but he wasn’t tracking the score until the final moments.
Reid is among the Wildcat tennis players to make good strides this season.
“I never knew anything about him until he walked onto the court,” says coach Jim Gibowski. “He’s maybe the most mentally tough player I have. He’s strong and can move.”
Doubles and KingCo
In doubles, the three Mount Si duos lost. Rhett Haney and Van Magnan, in the primary group, fell to Liberty’s Tyler Le and Aaron Burk, 3-6, 2-6.
At number two doubles, the duo of Drew Hadaller and Logan Cochrane won their first set, 7-6, over Griffin Lockhart and Matt Campbell. But the Patriots rallied and won the next two, 3-6, 1-6.
At number three, Royce Schwartzenberger and Brady Thomas, who challenged their way up from junior varsity, battled to a 6-7 finish in their first set, against the Pats’ Garrett Hughes and Brian Linnenkamp, and fell 1-6 in the second.
Mount Si now has a rare opportunity to showcase regional tennis talent, hosting the KingCo league tennis tournament October 16 to 18.
Hamann and Griffin will represent Mount Si at singles at KingCo, along with the doubles duos of Van Magnan and Rhett Haney, at number one, and Logan Cochrane and Drew Hadaller at number two.
There is a Mount Si team dynamic, Griffin said.
“Some people are laid back, others are more intense,” he said. “I think I’m in the middle ground.”
“It’s hard to learn at first, but once you do, it’s really fun,” Reid says of the sport. “You can’t have a really bad time out here. It’s a good environment.”
You can follow team results at MountSiTennis.weebly.com.
Seth Truscott/Staff Photos
Royce Schwartzenberger returns a Liberty hit during play on the road. He challenged for a spot on varsity.
Above, junior Kevin McLaughlin fires back at his Patriot opponent Oct. 9 at Tibbetts Park.
Rhett Haney, above chases a ball, during a doubles match with Van Magnan, below.
Drew Hadaller returns a Liberty serve during his sets with Logan Cochrane.