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Tennis | Historic win propels Bainbridge tennis
For the first time in nine years, Bainbridge defeated Seattle Prep, a positive sign for the remaining weeks of league play.
The Spartans (8-1, 6-1 overall), whose season goal was to beat Seattle Prep and win their first Metro League title, appear to be in good shape for the post-season.
Bainbridge’s 6-5 victory Monday evened the series this season, avenging a 10-1 loss in the team’s season opener.
No. 3 singles player Nate Parker clinched the 6-5 victory for the Spartans Monday, defeating Sam Blattner 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (2).
Parker, who is undefeated in Metro play at the No. 3, wasn’t the only Spartan who needed a tiebreak to seal the win.
Kate Jameson and Kelly Zwicker, competing at No. 1 girls doubles, claimed a 7-5, 7-6 (2) win over Claire McReynolds and Payton Burnett, while the No. 2 boys doubles team of Jacob Christensen and Mark Scott won 7-6 (5), 7-5.
Bainbridge’s girls singles players swept their respective matches, while the doubles teams split their contests.
With a few changes in the last few weeks, the Spartans’ current lineup is the strongest the team has fielded this season, coach Mike Anderson said.
The Spartan boys lineups have undergone several changes in the last few matches. Dylan Skeffington, who played the first four duals at No. 1 singles, partnered with Ryan Hunt at No. 1 doubles against Seattle Prep.
Senior Scott Alderson has taken the No. 1 singles spot, going 1-2. Sam Claney, who went 3-1 at No. 3, has gone 1-2 at No. 2 singles.
Parker is undefeated at No. 3 singles.
While the boys doubles pairings have changed throughout the season, the girls lineups have remained constant.
The No. 1 doubles team of Jameson and Zwicker have gone 6-0 since the team’s first loss to Seattle Prep.
Another constant in the Spartan lineup has been girls singles. Sasha Carter, Grace Porter and Colleen Gruber have combined for a 15-5 singles record in Metro play.
A team sport
Carter, a junior, has gone 5-1 in league play at No. 1 singles.
After transferring to Bainbridge and sitting out her sophomore year, Carter is embracing the team competition.
“My normal independent tennis is, I’m all by myself,” Carter said. “With a team it’s completely different, you can lose your match but still win the meet.”
A Bainbridge native, Carter has known many of her teammates – as well as key competition – for years.
Carter and Porter –who placed fourth in the state tournament last season – played doubles together during middle school.
“I love doubles,” Carter said. “I actually like doubles more than singles, and in tournaments I always play doubles. I like playing at the net. I’m more of a singles player but I still get a chance (to play).”
She’s also no stranger to 3A defending champion Natalie Allen from Holy Names, the player who dealt Carter her only Metro loss so far.
“She’s a friend of mine,” Carter said. “I’ve been playing Natalie for a couple years and it’s always been back and forth.”
While Carter and Allen have traded victories this season through league and tournament play, Carter is well prepared for the competition that awaits her in the post-season.
“I know the players who are going to be a challenge for me, and if I lose to them, it’s because they play better,” Carter said. “Anything can happen in a match, and if you lose, it’s not the end of the world. You can’t play well all the time – you have to win ugly sometimes, and not always do you win.”
Carter, who plays an aggressive baseline game, is looking to improve her consistency this season.
“I’m trying to get my game a little more solid,” she said. “It’s basically just being really solid and closing in, and not missing those easy shots and putaway shots. I can set up the point pretty well, it’s just finishing it and not making any mistakes.”
While tennis can take up to five hours each day, Carter has picked up hobbies like the guitar to ensure that tennis doesn’t take over her daily life.
“It’s more like a therapy for me,” she said. “It keeps me in tune.”