Eagles tennis team goes undefeated, wins KingCo

May 15, 2012

As far as KingCo 4A tennis is concerned, there’s a new sheriff in town.

The Issaquah High School girls tennis team went 10-0 this year on their way to the KingCo conference championship. Along the way, they defeated quality opponents in Skyline, Woodinville and even beat Newport, who had not lost to another school in more than 10 years.

“After we beat Newport we caught fire in the conference,” head coach Shannon Small said. “It’s quite an accomplishment for the girls. The girls are ecstatic.”

After toughing out some terrible weather early in the season, Issaquah was able to put in hard work in the limited practice time they had.

“A lot of them gave up other sports to focus on making varsity,” Small said. “It’s just great for them to be able to walk away from their high school career as KingCo champs.”

Up next is the road to the state championships, for which Small said she has two hopefuls — Sam Garrard and Kelsey Wilson. But for now she’ll sit back and take in their accomplishment.

“We’re able to pause and just celebrate,” she said. “The girls can give themselves a pat on the back. We haven’t really got a chance to just stop and celebrate.”

Tennis teams overcome challenges from weather to conference foes

March 27, 2012

Ali O’Daffer, of Skyline High School, chases a volley against Bellevue’s Karen Park on the way to winning the No. 2 singles match 6-1, 6-3. By Lillian Tucker

The high school girls tennis season in Western Washington starts for most youth athletes not on a court made of clay, concrete or grass, but in a gym.

“The girls always get the crappy weather,” Issaquah head coach Shannon Small said.

With most teams only getting a few outdoor practices, preparation time for the players and coaches is short.

“We’ve had probably 14 or 15 practice days,” Liberty High School head coach Mike Salokas said. “And because of weather we’ve been able to be outside probably four. If we were having this interview a few days ago that would have been very different, because you would have asked me who my best players were and I would have told you who could run around the gym floor the most times.”

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