The tennis regular season ended for the NPSL on Oct. 11, and once the regular season ends, the team competition goes out the door. For the next time these players step on the court, they are playing only for themselves.
Each team is allowed nine players to compete in the year-end district tournament — three singles players and three doubles teams. This is the first time that a third singles player has been added to competitive play, so many teams see that as an opportunity to let younger players get a shot at the varsity level.
Because half of the Kent high schools are 3A and the other half are 4A, we don’t have a “Kent City Champion.” But all of the Kent schools had a very good showing at the district tournaments.
Similar to their first place counterpart in the 3A class, Kentridge had a champion and a runner-up. In the singles bracket, second seeded sophomore Landon Phan took down the one seed William Fike from Mount Rainier 6-2, 6-3. Phan almost met his teammate, junior Teagan Boots, in the championship, but Fike took down Boots, who then lost in the third place match to Kentwood’s Nick Greutman, securing fourth place for the Chargers. Kentwood locked up third place with a great performance from Greutman.
In the 3A bracket, senior Cole Fredericks from Kentlake entered as the one seed. After a close first match, Fredericks dropped his quarterfinals duel to Titus Kim from Thomas Jefferson High School. In the losers bracket, Fredericks won two matches before falling to Roman Lopes from Auburn Riverside.
The 4A doubles bracket was spearheaded by the one seed out of Kentridge, Huy Le and Travis Nguyen, who on their way to the championship never dropped more than three games in any of the sets they played. The Chargers’ number one doubles lost a tight match to Federal Way in the championship. After dropping the first set 6-7 in a tiebreaker, Le and Nguyen took set two with a tiebreaker 7-6. They eventually lost set three 4-6.
Kentwood also had a good showing for their doubles team at Kent Meridian. Lam Pham and Bao Trinh fell in their second match to Kennedy Catholic’s number one doubles team. But in the losers bracket, they won two matches in a row, including beating another Kennedy doubles team in a tiebreaking third set to take fourth place.
Kent-Meridian at the 3A level came into the tournament with the number two overall seed for their first doubles team with seniors Julian Rangel and Ethan Legespi. In the semifinal match against Thomas Jefferson, the Rangel and Legespi duo went three sets with the Raiders. The boys from KM fell behind early, losing the first set 2-6, but they were able to bounce back and win set two 6-2. The following tiebreaker Rangel and Legespi were able to pull through and win 10-8. In the championship, where they would face the Cegielski twins, they fell in straight sets, earning them second place overall in the league tournament.
The next round of playoff tennis commences at the Boeing Employee Tennis Club for the West Central District tournament. For 3A, the tournament is Oct. 26-27 (after press time). The top 6 finishers qualify for state in Vancouver at the Vancouver Tennis Club on May 26-27. In the 4A class, their WCD starts Oct. 28-29. Only the top 5 qualify for state in Kennewick at Kamiakin High School and The Pacific Center, which also takes place May 26-27.