Wildcat tennis wins one, loses one

The Mount Si High School girls tennis team had a fair week, as they picked up a victory and a loss in play.

The Wildcats opened the week with a loss to Mercer Island. It was a dominating day for the Islanders, who swept all nine matches. There was, however, one solid Wildcat effort of note, and that was from Mount Si's Linnea Olson, who won her first set with MI's Renata Smith 6-2. Smith came back, however, and won the next two sets to take the match. The Islanders controlled all the other matches from the first serve and cruised to victories.

The match against Mercer Island was a bit of an experiment for Wildcat doubles teammates Mariana Zanella and Kelsey Wise.

"In our doubles match, Kelsey and I definitely were just trying a bunch of new stuff and getting ready for the Kingco Tournament," Zanella said.

One thing fans can look for from the senior is more aggressiveness on the court.

"I'm personally working on being more aggressive up at the net," Zanella said. "That's one of the things all year I've been struggling to do: come up to the net. I realize that when I do come up to the net, it works out better."

Wise told the Valley Record she wants to be more consistent in her play. Look for that from her as the season wears on.

Coach Sue Gallacher only expects one thing, and that is for her players to do their best.

"They're giving themselves and myself their best effort, and that's all I really am concerned about," she said.

Mount Si hosted Juanita in a crossover match Thursday, April 17. Juanita is a 4A school this season. However, since the Rebels will be a 3A within Kingco next year, this served as a potential preview of things to come.

Based on the results, it appears Mount Si will be competitive against this Juanita team. The Wildcats won an all-singles affair four matches to two, with the three scheduled doubles matches being called early due to rain. Those matches will not be made up.

As for the singles efforts, Mariana Zanella won a tight contest against the Rebels' Kendra Francis 7-5, 7-5. Kelcey Simpson, Victoria Falcon, and Meghan Travis also won their matches. Simpson beat Hana Nelson 6-4, 6-4; Falcon took care of Blair Howisey 6-0, 6-4; and Travis rolled over Courtney Bennett 6-2, 6-1. Kelsey Wise had a strong shot to make it a five-win day for the Wildcats, but fell in a close three-set effort 6-4, 4-6, 6-7 to Juanita's Claire Anderson.

The team came back from spring break well-rested, and that should serve them well as they wrap up the season. Gallacher said the rest came in handy.

"I think we were all ready for a little bit of a break," she said. "I think that's probably more beneficial than making mandatory practices."

Pending the weather and road conditions across Snoqualmie Pass, Mount Si was scheduled to travel to Selah, near Yakima, and play in a multi-school tournament, the first time in recent memory a Wildcat tennis team, boys or girls, has participated in a regular season tourney.

"For them to see the different players and different parts of the state, it's just going to be so fun," said Gallacher.

The Wildcats were scheduled to see teams from several schools in eastern Washington at the event. More information on this event can be found in next week's Valley Record.

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