The tennis team attacked the courts after spring break and showed that hard work in practice can actually make matches look easy. The boy’s team got two sweeps to remain undefeated after their first round of league play.
On Tuesday against Lakeside, they won a total of 60 games while only losing 9. Ben Johnstone played #1 singles after winning a challenge match the day before and walked onto the court with a new sense of determination and walked off with a 6-1, 6-1 win which looked like he was giving a clinic on serves and ground strokes. Jeff Petersen also had a hot serve and ended with a 6-2, 6-1 victory. Lefty, Braeton Dainty played at his level without letting his opponent win even one game and ended with a 6-0, 6-0 shutout.
Both doubles teams won 6-0, 6-2, dominating in the first set and letting up a bit in the second. Tyler Monasmith and David Vilchiz poached a lot of net shots slamming them over the fence. Collin Kirk Patterson and Mason Miller combined for great team play and blazing cross court shots.
On Thursday the team earned their second sweep, against Riverside. The grudge match continued from last year, but “we came into this season with the goal of defending our league and district championships and these sweeps show just how hard we’ve worked to do so”, said captain, David Vilchiz.
Johnstone played Brambilla who had gotten a big win earlier in the week, but Ben played his most consistent match of the year, capitalizing on Brambilla’s errors for a 6-1, 6-4 victory. Petersen dug himself a hole early by missing his first serves and making unforced errors and had to fight back for a first set 7-5 win. By taking a little off his serve and being more consistent, his next set was 6-4. Dainty averaged at least one ace per game in his match, got to the net often for the kill and dominated with an easy 6-2, 6-0 victory.
Monasmith and Vilchiz looked like a well oiled machine and stepped their game up a level or two with a 6-1, 6-1 match. Kirk-Patterson and Ryan Sisco had an off first set and kept shooting themselves in the foot but pulled out a 7-5 set. After deciding tennis was a game of mental toughness they turned around and won 6-0 showing what they were really capable of, which include a few aces and some nice net shots. So, after the first round of league play, Johnstone, Dainty, Monasmith and Vilchiz, Kirk-Patterson and Miller remain undefeated.
The girl’s team also stepped up their level of play with two league victories, the first victim being Lakeside 3-2. #1 singles, Naomi Miller played with tenacity and determination against a very tough opponent for a 6-4, 6-4 win. Kayleigh Hansen lacked energy and was defeated 0-6, 1-6. Playing #3 was Tenika Smith who consistently got her first serve in and steadily returned shots to defeat a player who looked to be a tough competitor during warm ups 6-2, 6-2.
In doubles, Becka Kenney and Bethany Kofmehl knew they had a tough match against the duo “Nicky and Susie”, who they faced a few times last year. The match was a tight one with teams exchanging leads and was interrupted while one of Lakeside’s fans had a seizure and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. The first set was lost in a tie breaker and the second one was also close with lots of long nail biting rallies, but the Eagles won 6-4. Ryann Richmond and Kelley Riese also had trouble with consistency and unforced errors, but came from behind knowing a win was a win and it doesn’t always matter by how much, 7-5, 7-5.
Against Riverside the girls had a 4-1 win. The lone loss was for Miller who played her heart out in a two and a half hour, three set match which ended up in favor of the Rams. Hansen got her first league win of the season 6-1, 6-2 and said, “it felt good”. Smith got her second win of the week 6-2, 6-1 by moving her feet and maintaining a higher level of play. Both doubles teams adjusted well to anything the opponents threw at them and used their experience and good attitudes to win all 24 games and not let the opponents move even one ball up on the score keeper. Richmond and Reise remain undefeated after the first round of league play at the #2 doubles position
This week, Chewelah will host Davenport on Monday and Reardan on Thursday in non-league matches to ready themselves against a few players they will face at Regionals, as both teams consistently have some of the top players around. Wednesday the girls will travel to Colville.
Submitted by Denise Smith, JHS Tennis Coach
In This Photo: The boy’s tennis team (Ben Johnstone, Jeff Petersen, Mason Miller, Ryan Sisco, Braeton Dainty, Collin Kirk-Patterson, Tyler Monasmith and David Vilchiz) could barely find enough brooms to represent the two sweeps they got last week over Lakeside and Riverside. Denise Smith photo