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Federal Way will be well-represented at WCDistrict tennis tournament
The surprise about the South Puget Sound League Boys Tennis Tournament was that there wasn't any surprises.
The three-day tournament held at Kent-Meridian High School concluded Thursday with Kentwood's Max Manthou being crowned the SPSL singles champion for the fourth-straight year and the top-seeded Kentridge team of Vineeth Omkaram and Garrett Ballou winning the doubles' competition. Omkaram and Ballou also helped the SPSL North-champion Chargers narrowly win the team title over Thomas Jefferson. Kentridge tallied 32 total points, compared to 29 by TJ, the champs of the SPSL Central Division.
Manthou downed Kentridge's Matt Overland for the third time during the season in the singles' championship, 6-1, 6-2. The three games Overland won during the match were the only three Manthou lost during his four matches at the SPSL Tournament. The three-time Class 4A state champion won his first three matches, 6-0, 6-0. Manthou also beat Overland in the state championship match a season ago.
Omkaram and Ballou beat the Puyallup brother team of Michael and Brian Pinkard in the doubles' title match, 6-4, 7-6 (5).
But Federal Way will be well-represented at the West Central District Tournament, which will take place in the spring. The top-10 finishers at the SPSL Tournament from the singles' and doubles' competition advanced to districts.
Jefferson's Joe Lee finished in third place after beating Kentridge's Paul Yi in the third/sixth match Thursday. Yi was forced to retire due to an injury. Lee advanced into the semifinal round before running into Manthou.
Beamer's Joseph de la Cruz came in fourth with Thursday's win over Emerald Ridge's Gred Medlock in three sets. De la Cruz got by Medlock, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2. De la Cruz lost to Overland in the quarterfinals, 6-1, 6-2, but beat Rogers' Austin Pugmire in the consolation bracket quarterfinal to earn a spot in the fourth-seventh match.
Also qualifying for districts were Jefferson's Branden Muraki and James Lee. Muraki was also a 6-0, 6-0 victim of Manthou in the quarterfinals, but battled back to finish eighth.
James Lee grabbed the 10th and final West Central District berth by beating Rogers' Simon Kim in a loser-out match Thursday, 6-2, 7-5.
On the doubles' side, a pair of TJ teams will play at districts, along with the Beamer team of Chase Friedrich and Sean O'Bryan.
The Raider brother team of Kainoa and Makoa Rosa finished third after beating TJ teammates Kyle Creek and Brandyn Gomez in the third/sixth match Thursday, 6-0, 6-4. Both teams lost in the semifinals on Tuesday.
Friedrich and Gomez finished fifth after beating the Kentridge team of Vincent Lin and Vishall Diwan in the fifth/eighth match Thursday, 6-3 6-4.