Sports

Racqueteers bow out early in tourney play

Though Elliot Beam and the doubles team of Sara Suffis and Amanda Allender both won a match at the 3A State Tennis Tournament at the Nordstrom Tennis Center on the UW campus, they lost twice and were eliminated on Friday’s opening day of competition.

Beam won a tight first match that lasted more than three hours with all three sets going to tiebreakers, 6-7, 7-6, 7-6.

But he lost in the quarterfinals to Andrew Elling of Seattle Prep 6-0, 6-2, then dropped another tight match in the consolation round to last year’s state champion Sean Dolan of O’Dea 6-4, 7-5.

Elling eventually finished third and Dolan was the consolation winner.

“Elliot had a tough draw to begin with,” said coach Mike Anderson. “And that first match took a lot out of him. That was the maximum amount of games you could play, and for that to happen in the first round was a killer.”

As a result, Beam had little more than an hour to rest before playing a well-rested Elling, who had breezed through his first match 6-0, 6-1.

Beam concluded his season with an 11-7 mark, with all but one of his defeats coming to opponents who eventually played in the state tournament.

He advanced to the state tournament all four years, where his best finish was sixth in singles as a sophomore.

He compiled a 17-4 mark as a freshman in doubles, and went 41-14 during his final three years in singles.

That mark included two district titles and a third place this year.

His district record this year included wins over Dolan and eventual state champion Peter Kung of Lakeside. That was indicative of the level of competition in District 2, what Anderson termed “the highest level of boys’ tennis competition in the state.”

Suffis and Allender began their first match on a high note by taking the opening set 6-2 against a team from Columbia River.

But they lost the next two sets 6-2, 6-3.

Though they won their next match 6-2, 6-2 against White River, they were eliminated 6-4, 6-4 by a Mercer Island duo that went on to claim the consolation title.

“Maybe that first set was too easy,” Anderson said. “They had too many unforced errors after that.

“But they had a very successful season,” he added. Playing together for the first time, the pair compiled a 10-5 overall record, losing only to teams that advanced to the state tournament.

The good weather that prevailed during the tournament was in sharp contrast to the rest of the season.

“A cell phone was mandatory equipment because of the weather situation,” Anderson said. “It was a strange season because of going into a new league and the bad weather.”

Three boys - Beam, Trenton Gibbons and Peter Wells - will graduate. The girls lose six: Katie Beck, Jen Bradshaw, Kristen Carmel, Sarah Frazee, Chloe Slichter and Suffis.

Looking ahead to next year, Anderson anticipated that the team would be promoted to the Metro League’s A division.

“The competition was good for us when we played A division teams,” Anderson noted. “We’ll have 14 returning lettermen plus some good JV kids moving in.

“We should be okay.”

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