Tennis squads have new faces, key injuries in ’08
September 19, 2008
Shannon Small has stepped in to take over the Issaquah High School boys tennis team, in addition to her position as coach of the girls’ tennis team in the spring.
“I’m the new coach and I’m filling big shoes,” she said. “Mark Frisby was very successful here. We have five returning varsity players on a squad of 16. We have a lot of newcomers who are hungry, and have been developed nicely in the JV program. I see a lot of poise and development in them.”
Small’s arrival on the scene brought one major adjustment — an increased dedication to physical fitness.
“When I arrived, I immediately started a conditioning program,” she said. “A lot of people were shocked by it. I had a couple of parents complain, telling me, ‘Hey, this isn’t track. This is tennis.’ But the kids have adapted quickly to it, and some of them really love it.”
The Liberty High School tennis team opened its season Sept. 9 against Issaquah.
“Why not start out against your rival,” said Mike Salokas, entering his second year as tennis coach at Liberty.
The schedule includes matches against Garfield, Eastlake and Redmond high schools.
Thomas Lowes, a sophomore, returns as the squad’s No. 1 player. Seniors Sam Andres and Matt Weik will be the No. 2 and No. 3 players, respectively.
Lowes, Andres and Weik will serve as captains on the team. Other members include Matt Weik’s brother Chris, a sophomore; Sho Kato, a junior; and Ryan Maio, a sophomore.
Eighth-year Skyline High School tennis coach Bettina Gehle was disappointed that 2007 team standout Nick Kamisar was unable to tryout due to an injury, but said she is optimistic about this fall’s varsity squad being able to compete in KingCo.
Kamisar finished fifth in state last year and was the only player in the state to take a set from state champ Davis Mangham, of Lakeside. Gehle said she hopes Kamisar will return as a senior in 2009.
The Spartans went 5-3 in 2007 and have junior Tyler VanGrunsven and senior Ryan Clark returning. Gehle, assisted by Jerry Grummer, is still looking for someone to step up as the team leader and hold the No. 1 singles spot.
“It’s maybe not the strongest team, but we are really working on depth,” Gehle said at tryouts.
Even though Skyline had some key players graduate in June, building depth shouldn’t be a problem. Nearly 70 athletes turned out for the no-cut tryouts. Gehle said she can only see the team getting stronger this year.