Tennis works through obstacles

Senior co-captain Becky Gottlieb is part of a small group of returning Bainbridge tennis players.  - Brad Camp/Staff Photo
Senior co-captain Becky Gottlieb is part of a small group of returning Bainbridge tennis players.
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

Construction, loss of 15 seniors won’t hold Spartans down.

It hasn’t been all smiles and sunshine for head coach Mike Anderson and the Bainbridge tennis team this season.

With the construction of the 200 building still in effect, the Spartans have had to work around the workers (“It’s been a distraction, but nothing we can’t handle,” Anderson said of finding a way to practice on their old courts) and find other places to practice and play.

But thanks to the Wing Point Golf and Country Club and the Bainbridge Athletic Club, the team can host some games and have a normal season – somewhat.

“I think we got the matches started about 3:30 p.m. and the last ball was hit a little after 9 p.m.,” Anderson said of their 6-5 win against Bishop Blanchet at the BAC when the Wing Point courts weren’t available due to rain. “It was a long night to say the least.”

Last season, the Spartans moved seven players to districts, then had three girls in Molly Donohue, Jamie Slonaker and Brooke Shorett win the district title for the first time in Anderson’s career and move onto state, where they tied for fifth overall with Seattle Prep and Mercer Island.

This year, several players are back with some experience, but many are new faces to the team.

Along with seniors Shorett, Becky Gottlieb and Jonathan Potter – all co-captains – the Spartans return senior Euimin Jung, junior David Gruber and sophomores Dylan Skeffington and Ian Saksa.

Several newcomers to the girls’ team include senior Alexis Boleda, juniors Ryan Biggers, Sarah Powers, Abigial Hawley, sophomore Colleen Gruber and freshman Grace Porter, who comes in with a lot of tournament experience and is ranked eighth in the USTA girls’ 14-year-old age division in the Northwest.

“She’s a real tournament player,” Anderson said. “She’s pretty good.”

On the boys’ side, juniors Ryan Hunt, Tim Buxton, Chris Compeggie and freshmen Sam Claney and Scott Anderson arrive on the scene to bolster the ranks.

The additional numbers have brightened the season outlook for Anderson.

“I’m a little more optimistic,” he said. “I’m expecting a little more out of them.”

“I’m thinking we can give Seattle Prep a bigger run for their money.”

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