Sports

Young Tomahawks hit the hard courts

M-Ps tennis team has seven return players while underclassmen represent three of the four singles slots. Above, Barry Jacobsen, serving, and Riley Gilbertson prepare for an upcoming match. -
M-Ps tennis team has seven return players while underclassmen represent three of the four singles slots. Above, Barry Jacobsen, serving, and Riley Gilbertson prepare for an upcoming match.
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M-P tennis team determined to win

Quite possibly the best thing about this years Tomahawk tennis team is its youth. Three of its four starting singles players are underclassmen. One of them is Kyle Hanks at No. 3 singles.
Not only is Hanks a junior, but he may be next years No. 1. Perhaps rightly so, especially after beating Everetts Rikki Dunn in a two-and-a-half hour match 5-7, 7-5, 6-4 that wound up being the win the team needed to overtake Everett, 4-3.
Over all, its encouraging, says coach Robert Sherry about Hanks and the rest of the squad. Everyone really tries hard, practices real hard. We have definite potential.
Theres not a lot of bravado in Sherrys voice, likely because he knows his team must face Snohomish, Stanwood and Cascade high schools, all stellar teams with players who not only make it to state championships on a regular basis, but practice year round.
M-P opened at home against Snohomish and got their hats handed to them 0-7. Losses are losses. But when you look at the game scores and that M-P was playing against the perennially powerful Panthers, the Tomahawks didnt fare too poorly. No. 2 singles Alan Butner took on Brandon Kent and lost 2-6, 6-3, 3-6. No. 4 singles lost 4-6, 4-6.
After eking out the win against Everett, the Tomahawks balled up to battle Stanwood who made short work of the Tomahawks 5-2 and who now with a 3-0 record, are tied for first with Snohomish.
But if Hanks match against Dunn says anything, it says that this team has got guts and wants to win.
Sherry has been applying more specific drills in practices, such as cross-over step volleys, that he feels have given the team confidence and the tools to win. Its helped, Sherry said, because [in games] you see them hitting those shots that they had practiced.
On Monday, the Tomahawks issued Lake Stevens a beating, winning 6-1. It was a solid win for M-P after opening the season with a loss to Snohomish and Stanwood and just edging out Everett. M-Ps No. 1 singles, Joseph Dyer, inked his first win of the season.
It was a good win for sure, coach Sherry said. Next up is Monroe which has solid singles players said Sherry. So, well see.

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