Coupeville dominates district tennis, winning all qualifying spots
By JIM WALLER
Whidbey News Times Sports editor
October 27, 2009 · Updated 2:37 PM
Coupeville tennis players captured all the available spots to advance to the next round of playoffs by continuing their dominance over Friday Harbor at the District One “A” tournament at Friday Harbor High School Thursday, Oct. 21.
The Wolves defeated Friday Harbor, their only league and district opponent, twice during the regular season, then brushed aside the Wolverines at the district level.
The district tournament featured two singles players and two doubles teams from each school. The Wolves won all four first-round matches, setting up all-Coupeville finals.
In the first round of singles play, senior Connor Tasoff topped Nick Roberts 6-3, 7-6(1), and junior Ben Hayes defeated Zach Milkis 6-1, 6-2.
In the championship match, Tasoff won the first set 6-3, and then jumped to a 5-0 lead in the second. Hayes responded with six straight points to go up 6-5 before Tasoff got back on track to win the next game and force a second-set tiebreaker. Tasoff, Coupeville’s No. 1 seed, took the tiebreaker 7-2 and the match.
In doubles action, senior Travis Curtin and senior Garrett Knoll began their day with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Weston Hedin and Parker Satin. Brothers senior Jordan and freshman Nathan Lamb joined them in the championship match with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Brentt Sandifer and Alex Jangard.
Coupeville’s No. 2 seed, the Lambs, upset their No. 1 seed teammates Curtin and Knoll 6-3, 6-1 to grab first.
Curtin and Knoll returned to the court to get second place by defeating Sandifer and Jangard (who came through the losers’ bracket) 6-1, 6-2.
Champions Tasoff and the Lamb brothers earned automatic berths in the quad-district tournament which will be played in May at the University of Washington. The state tennis tournament is played in the spring because some schools compete in boys’ tennis during that season.
Second-place finishers Hayes, Curtin, and Knoll will need to win a qualifying match in May to advance to the quad-district tournament.
Coupeville coach Ken Stange said it was difficult hiding his emotions in the all-Coupeville finals. He said, “I felt that if I gave encouragement, I would have found it difficult to be balanced. I ended up pacing back and forth across the viewing area, mumbling to myself every once in a while. Normally, I am one of my players’ biggest cheerleaders.”
He added, “I also coach the kids between sets, which I did not do when CHS players squared off against each other. I just wanted them to leave everything on the court and to be happy with their effort, regardless of whether they won or lost.”
Stange called seniors Tasoff, Curtin, Knoll, and Jordan Lamb the “heart and soul” of the team. He said, “It is their experience and desire that helped win the day for CHS. As their coach, I was proud to see them have such a fine end to the fall season.”
This was the first time in Stange’s five seasons as coach that all six Coupeville participants at district advanced.Contact Whidbey News Times Sports editor Jim Waller at email@example.com or 360-675-6611 ext. 5060.