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PREP SPORTS WRAP: Jefferson tennis continues SPSL domination
The Thomas Jefferson boys tennis program just keeps winning and winning and winning. The Raiders finished up their South Puget Sound League Central Division season with another championship Wednesday with a 5-0 sweep of Beamer.
The victory moved TJ to 10-0 on the season and extended the program’s SPSL winning streak to 42 matches in a row under the direction of longtime coach Andrew Buchan. The Raiders have won the last four SPSL Central Division titles.
But Jefferson didn’t just breeze to the division championship this season, they blew away the competition. In total, Jefferson lost only one match during the league season.
The Raiders swept nine of their SPSL Central opponents by 5-0 scores. The only match loss came when TJ’s Alex Chan lost to Federal Way’s Mitch Stewart at No. 1 singles during a 4-1 victory over the Eagles on Sept. 20. Stewart is the defending Class 4A singles champion and one of the best junior players in the United States.
“Last year’s team was the strongest TJ has ever produced and this year looks even better,” said Buchan, who has an amazing 235-42 record in his 22 seasons at Jefferson.
And that’s saying quite a lot. The 2011-12 edition of the Raider boys tennis team featured three solid players, including multi-time state placer Kainoa Rosa, who is currently playing tennis at Hawaii-Hilo University. Also gone were state veterans James Lee and Russell Stelzer.
But the Raiders had plenty of depth waiting in the wings, obviously. This year’s team was led by senior Alex Lee, who finished 8-0 in singles play. Chan, a freshman who played most of the regular season at No. 1 singles, finished an impress 5-1.
On the doubles’ side, the brother duo of Cameron and Zach Martin (8-0) at No. 1, seniors Abishek Murali and Tyler Hamashima (7-0) and Richard Ban and Vivek Ramanujan (6-0) were all unbeaten. Murali was the No. 1 singles player at Decatur in 2009 and ‘10 before transferring to TJ. He was forced to sit out last season at TJ.
Next up for the Raiders, along with Beamer and Federal Way, is the SPSL Tournament, which is slated to run Saturday through Tuesday at several locations around the league.
Unlike season’s past, the West Central/Southwest District Tournament will be held during the fall this year. The district tournament, which has been held in the spring in years past, is scheduled for Oct. 26-27 with state berths on the line.
The Federal Way Eagles remained unbeaten in the SPSL South with a 3-0 win over Bethel Tuesday. The Eagles (4-0-5) got a pair of goals from sophomore Gabriela Pelogi and a pair of assists from Audrey Shin, who also tallied the Eagles’ third goal.
Senior goalkeeper Sarah Shimer, who is bound for the University of Washington, picked up the shutout in net.
Jefferson (2-7-0) won its second game of the season Tuesday over Kent-Meridian, 2-1. The Raiders got both of their goals from Chentay Warnes.
The Todd Beamer Titans lost another five-game heartbreaker in the SPSL South Wednesday night to Graham-Kapowsin, 22-25, 25-23, 12-25, 25-15, 15-10. The loss dropped the Titans to 0-3 in the South.
Beamer was led by 20 kills from Megan Huff and eight kills, 36 assists and 20 digs from Kelsey Miholland.
The Decatur girls set up a big-time match Tuesday against the Enumclaw Hornets after beating a tough Bonney Lake team Wednesday, 128-107. The win moved the Gators to 5-1.
Enumclaw leads the SPSL 3A Division at 6-0 and handed Decatur its only loss of the season on their home course. Tuesday’s match will take place at the Twin Lakes Golf and Country Club.
Sophomore Celia Beyke led the way against Bonney Lake by firing a 39 and Taylor Trembly followed with a solid 46.
The Jefferson girls remained unbeaten with a 100-73 win over Beamer Tuesday at Sumner Meadows. Alexus Song earned medalist honors with a 41, followed by Jiny Lee (43) and Hannah Yi (45). Beamer was led by Amanda Imm, who also shot a 45.