Without one of their top players, the Mountlake Terrace High School girls tennis team still put up a fight against visiting Glacier Peak on Monday, but the Grizzlies just had too much depth and slipped past the Hawks 4-3 in the Wesco League opener for both squads.
Allison Lorraine, who has recently been holding down the No. 3 singles spot for Terrace, was unavailable for Monday’s match, forcing Coach Alberto Ramirez to shuffle the Hawk line-up. The moves had mixed results, as Brittany Kinsella picked up a win in the No. 4 singles match for Terrace, but Aysha Raza couldn’t keep up with GP’s No. 3 singles player Jessica Roberts.
The Hawks’ top two singles’ players, Nicki Bouche and Tina Liu, both secured victories in their matches. Bouche is undefeated so far this season, but Monday’s match-up with the Grizzlies’ No.1 singles player Madeline Mahler turned out to be no easy task for Bouche.
“She was by far the toughest player I’ve played so far,” Bouche said. “We’re very similar. She had a really good angle backhand, and she was a fast runner. We’re both running around getting every single ball. It was crazy.”
Although Mahler grabbed an early 2-0 lead in the first set, Bouche bounced back to claim the set 6-3. But the Hawks junior struggled in the second set, unable to break Mahler’s serve and losing the set 6-4. With such evenly-matched physical skills, Bouche felt the outcome of the match would come down to mental toughness.
“Tennis is such a mental game; so much of it is in your head,” Bouche explained. “We had such similar physical games, so that it basically came down to who is stronger mentally. Honestly, in that second set, she was amazing. She was solid, calm, collected. And I didn’t collect myself enough.”
Bouche was able to regroup in the third set, connect on some well-placed backhand returns, take advantage of a key double-fault by her opponent, and build up a 5-1 game lead that Mahler couldn’t overcome. Bouche went on to win the third set, and the match 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
“I think I just buckled down and said, ‘enough fooling around, enough freaking out with your emotions, just get this done,’” Bouche said about going into the decisive third set. “I just played my game, forgot about all the anger of losing, and…concentrated on the strokes.”
In other MTHS action on Monday, the softball team scored three runs in the top of the sixth inning and held off the Newport Knights 3-2 in a non-league match-up in Bellevue.
The Hawks’ Sammy Harter had an RBI double while teammate Sage Huntersmith added an RBI single in Terrace’s big sixth inning. Kira Doan held the Knights to just two runs in six innings pitched, with Maddy Kristjanson coming in to pitch a scoreless seventh for Terrace.
The Hawks open Wesco League play on Tuesday, April 1, with a road game at Meadowdale. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.
MTHS Tennis vs. Glacier Peak, March 31
Glacier Peak 4 – Mountlake Terrace 3
Singles: Nicki Bouche (MT) def. Madeline Mahler (GP) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3; Tina Liu (MT) def. Taylor Hallock (GP) 6-1, 6-0; Jessica Roberts (GP) def. Aysha Raza (MT) 6-2, 6-0; Brittany Kinsella (MT) def. Emelia Black (GP) 6-4, 6-0
Doubles: Emme Davis / Anna Sneesby (GP) def. Meron Abay / Kaitlyn Anderson (MT) 6-0, 6-0; Keanna Ellingsen / Laurel Albrecht (GP) def. Suzie Diaz / Kirsten Pounds (MT) 6-0, 6-1. Micah Flood / Mary Hlavacka (GP) def. Monique Singh / Arani Yungendyion (MT) 6-4, 6-2
Records: Mountlake Terrace 0-2 in Wesco League, 1-4 overall; Glacier Peak 2-0, 2-1
MTHS next match: versus Shorewood, Wednesday, April 2, 3:30 p.m. at Shoreview Park
MTHS Softball vs. Newport, March 31
Terrace 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 — 3 6 3
Newport 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 — 2 7 2
Winning pitcher: Kira Doan (MTHS)
Records: Mountlake Terrace 2-4; Newport 1-2
MTHS next game: versus Meadowdale, Tuesday, April 1, 4 p.m. at Meadowdale High School
— Story and photos by Doug Petrowski