By NEIL PIERSON
Medical Lake's boys tennis team capped off a 10-2 Great Northern League season last Wednesday with a 6-1 victory at West Valley.
The Cardinals had few problems in sweeping their season series with the Eagles, taking five of their six victories in straight sets.
In singles, ML No. 1 seed Max Nelson whipped Nick Raskell 6-0, 6-3. No. 2 player Jeremy Marinos started slow but finished fast in his win over Chase Baxter (2-6, 6-2, 6-4). No. 3 seed Matt Moroni downed Jake Smith (6-1, 6-3) and No. 4 seed Shane Fouts, a senior playing his last varsity match, lost 2-6, 2-6 to the Eagles' Erik Fair.
In doubles, ML's top team of Dallon Bogart and Tyler Lemasters continued their recent hot streak, rolling over Chris Chappell and Brian Bergan 6-1, 6-2. The No. 2 team of Chris Davis and Danny Klopfenstein knocked off Tie McClellan and Caleb Rynning (6-4, 6-2).
Bryan Smith, subbing for an injured Leon Johnson, stepped in at No. 3 with Noel Ayos for a 6-2, 6-0 win over Thai Hood and Garrett Mullan.
With each GNL school only able to take two singles and two doubles teams to the district tournament next weekend, ML head coach Leroy Lemaster held playoffs to determine his squad's No. 2 doubles team. Ayos and Johnson earned the spot, with the freshman Johnson expected to recover from a minor shoulder injury.
District play begins next Friday and continues the following day at Clarkston. The top three singles and top three doubles teams move on to the 2A state tournament, May 25-26 at the Yakima Tennis Club.
Lemaster expected an especially heated battle for the three singles spots, with Nelson, Pullman's Daniel Kim and Clarkston's Richard Muszynski all figuring to make a run for the district championship.
“We're just going to have to work the kids pretty hard between now and when we go down there,” Lemaster said last Thursday.
Neil Pierson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org