The Cougar tennis team had a great week and looks forward to doing the same all season. The team took on Medical Lake, Deer Park and hosted a jamboree with Lind/Ritzville/Sprague (LRS) and came away winners each time.
“I love it when other long time coaches bring teams to Chewelah, we beat them and then they comment on what a great program we have,” said Coach Denise Smith. “I am so proud of our athletes and how hard they have worked. Our success is attributed to our large number of seniors who have bettered themselves since last year and the coaching help we have gotten this year from volunteer Ed Anagon, who is student teaching at JHS and was a college player at Whitworth. He is just what our program needed. He is an excellent player and the boys finally have someone better than them to play and challenge them. His knowledge of the game and abilities are amazing. The Varsity team is practicing at a much higher level which creates confidence and wins.”
Another volunteer coach is Jay Timm. “Jay has helped our program on and off over the last several years. He loves to play tennis and runs all kind of drills and coaches skills at all levels,” Smith said. “Along with assistant coach Heidi Wulczynski who has taken over the one year players, we usually have four coaches on the courts at practice and can give a lot more individual attention to each player and run skill appropriate drills for different levels of play.”
In boys play, the Cougs only lost one of 17 matches during the week. They swept Deer Park and LRS. #1 singles, Ben Johnstone had some real challenging matches against Hunter Barr of Medical Lake and Zach Swanger of LRS, but came away with wins. Against Barr, Johnstone went three sets for the victory but decided he was a better player and returned balls consistently until Barr made the mistake. Against Swanger, Johnstone won in a real close tie breaker by using aggressive shots and his big serve. Johnstone started out slow and was a bit off his game because he donated blood during school (along with many other team members) but focused his game for the win.
#2, Braeton Dainty got two wins on the week after dropping his first match against the Cardinals. ‘That one really hurt me as a coach, because I thought Brady was the better player and couldn’t talk himself into playing his own game. I counted one rally however that went 25 hits and shows the consistency we have been working on,” Smith commented. But when Deer Park showed up Dainty trounced his opponent and did the same against LRS.
#3, Luke Timm also got three wins for the week. After a slow start on a tender knee, Luke beat the Cardinal in three sets and made quick work of his other two opponents.
In doubles, the Cougars worked like a well-oiled machine and steamrolled all opponents. #1 doubles, Colin Kirk Patterson and team mate, Mason Miller showed how they will dominate in the league by winning 32 games and losing only 6.
#2 doubles, Sam Cobb and Tommy Norman played with their usual antics and still won big, even after donating double units of blood before Thursday’s match.
In girls action, the team got a 4-1 win against Medical lake who is new to the NE “A” league after dropping down from AA. “Last year we played their JV and won, but I was worried about playing their Varsity this year. Their singles players turned out to be tough, but they didn’t have much in doubles,” said coach Smith. Deer Park had two good girls, but after that the whole team was beginners, and LRS had a very competitive team with the two best players being the coach’s daughters.
#1 singles, Tenika Smith used the “play like a wall” strategy and return shots until your opponent makes a mistake for the 6-2, 6-2 win over Rachel Hansen of M.L., but totally ran out of steam after 3 sets against Deer Park.
#2, Ryann Richmond lost 2-6, 3-6 on Monday, but refused to let that happen again and played tough against D.P. for a 7-5, 6-2 victory and a 8-4 pro set win on Thursday.
#3, Naomi Miller, started slow on Monday but found her game and won in the 10 point third set tie breaker and dominated at D.P., 6-0, 6-1.
In doubles, #1, Becka Kenney and Bethany Kofmehl rolled over the competitors from M.L. and D.P. winning 24 games and losing only one. But the duo from LRS gave them a great match and a loss due mostly to both girls fighting health issues.
#2 doubles, Tia Justice and Kayleigh Hansen found little competition during the week and won 32 games while only losing four with consistent serves and great angles.
This week the Cougars host Davenport on Monday then travel to Freeman on Thursday for a league match and Reardan on Saturday.
In This Photo: The Boys Varsity got their first sweep of the year beating Deer Park in all 5 matches! Pictured (l-r) are #2 Doubles team Sam Cobb and Tommy Norman, #1 Doubles Colin Kirk-Patterson and Mason Miller, Singles #3; Luke Timm, Singles #1 Ben Johnstone and Singles #2 Braeton Dainty-Flanagan. Kim Johnstone photo