Issaquah finds enough spin to top Eastlake in boys tennis matchup

September 27, 2011

By Christopher Huber

Evan Cheung, Issaquah High School senior first seed, was one of three singles victims Sept. 20 against Eastlake. By Greg Farrar

If Vicente Varas was recovering from a sore ankle, he sure didn’t act like it on the court Sept. 20 in a KingCo Conference 4A match against Issaquah High School.

The Eastlake High School No. 1 singles tennis player was slowed down the week before against Lake Washington and Ballard, but had practiced over the weekend with friend and Skyline High School standout Aman Manji to test out the ankle, he and Eastlake coach Bud Peterson said.

With no signs of a weak joint, he made his Issaquah opponent, Evan Cheung, earn the one game he won. Otherwise, Varas, the two-time KingCo champ, dismantled Cheung’s efforts to score points at a conference meet on the Eastlake courts.

While Eastlake won the top three singles matches, Issaquah prevailed to win the overall match, 4-3.

Varas, a senior, took the match, 6-0, 6-1, and showed stronger command of his forehand and drop shot than ever. He sent Cheung sprinting back and forth across the court all afternoon, reaching for zingers that were simply unreturnable.

“He just gets every shot back,” Cheung said after the quick match.

Varas improved his personal record to 5-0 on the season but said it will be tough to go undefeated again in 2011. Ultimately, he was happy with his powerful, accurate forehand work against Cheung.

“I have a lot of confidence with it,” Varas said. “It’s my go-to shot.”

In the No. 2 singles spot, Eastlake’s Mitch Loofburrow defeated Issaquah’s Andrew Kim, 6-0, 6-1. And Eastlake’s Andrew Garland, the No. 3 singles player, beat Issaquah’s Richard Bennett, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), in what was one of the longer matches of the day.

After going up one set and narrowly losing a second-set tiebreaker, Eastlake’s No. 4, Jon Lockwood, lost to Issaquah’s David Park, 2-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2.

In doubles competition, John Brendel and Matt Gonn, of Issaquah, beat Santiago Varas and Tim Tan, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. The Eagles’ Jeff Weng and Andrew Okada defeated Eastlake’s Fez Ulargui and Chris Lockwood, 6-3, 7-5. Issaquah’s Ken Kida and Daniel Park beat Eastlake’s Ryan Holmdahl and Evan Green, 7-5, 6-3.

Eagles edge Redmond

Issaquah won two key doubles matches Sept. 22 en route to a 4-3 victory against Redmond.

Brendel and Gonn teamed to win the No. 1 doubles with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory against Austin Smith and Riley Wood. Kida and Daniel Park won the No. 3 doubles with a 6-3, 6-2, victory against Bryan Owen and Diasuke Tsukamo. Bennett took the No. 3 singles with a 6-1, 6-3 victory against Kevin Wong. David Park won the No. 4 singles by beating Paul Dewater, 6-1, 7-6 (7-4).

Skyline lost to Newport, 6-1, Sept. 20. Manji won the No. 1 singles by beating Ryan Cheung, 6-2, 6-4.

Liberty lost to Juanita, 6-1, Sept. 20. Justice Canley won the No. 4 singles for Liberty by beating Luke White, 6-1, 6-1.

Christopher Huber: 392-6434, ext. 242, or Comment at

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