In winning every singles match but one in 2018 and finishing fourth at the WIAA 2A State Tennis Singles’ Championship, Annie Huang put together the best individual tennis season in Mountlake Terrace High School history last year — and did so as a freshman.
So what could she possibly do as an encore during this, her sophomore year? “Just better at state, I guess,” Huang said.
Huang and her Mountlake Terrace Hawks girls tennis teammates begin their 2019 season on Monday, March 11. Huang hopes to end the season in late May back at the 2A state tennis championships and on a higher step of the singles’ tournament podium.
Huang breezed through her competition last year, not only defeating all the No. 1 singles players from every team the Hawks matched up against in the regular season, but rarely even losing a set in those matches. She won the District 1/2 2A singles title before going 3-1 at the state tourney; the loss, to eventual 2A state runner-up Annie Rios of Foster, was her sole defeat of the season.
Huang, who also plays club tennis year round, is shaking the rust off her game as the high school season begins. “I actually took a month off from tennis. I’m just now getting back into it,” she explained.
And the reason for the layoff? “With the weather, it’s cold; even indoors,” she said.
Though Huang is just a sophomore, her Terrace teammates still look up to her and she has assumed a small role in helping out others on the team. “Sometimes some of my closer friends on the team will ask me for tips,” she said.
More than 40 girls are part of this year’s tennis team, the biggest turnout in years. Though still unable to rattle off the names of all her teammates, Huang does like that the team has grown in numbers.
“It’s good to see more people playing the sport,” Huang said.
Another new face on the courts at Terrace this spring is Josh Basha, who is taking over the head coaching duties of the Hawks from retired Coach Alberto Ramirez. Basha is no novice to the game — he has coached tennis for 15 years, first in Arizona and most recently as the Director of Tennis at the Forest Crest Athletic Club in Mountlake Terrace.
While Huang is expected to dominate in singles’ competition this season, the rest of the squad will certainly face challenges. The Hawks picked up only three team wins last year and will be tested in every outing on the schedule.
The Hawks’ first home match of the year takes place on Thursday, March 14, when they host the Archbishop Murphy Wildcats.
In other Mountlake Terrace Hawks sports, the boys and girls track teams begin their 2019 season with a jamboree on Thursday, March 14, at Mountlake Terrace High School. Expected to join the Hawks will be the squads from O’Dea, Bishop Blanchet, Holy Names Academy and Cedar Park Christian – MLT. Events are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.
While many Hawks will participate in the event, some will be sitting it out due to injury, most significantly Brandon Bach, the 2017 2A state javelin champion. Bach broke a bone in his right foot during the football season last fall and has been recovering since, including a 16-week stretch when he put no weight on the foot.
Bach does plan on returning to track competition this spring and compete for a spot at the 2019 WIAA state track and field championships; the senior wants to improve on his third-place finish in the 2A state javelin event last year.
Payton Love, who placed 16th in the state 2A shot put event last spring, will likely miss the Hawks’ March 14 jamboree due to an injured shoulder. Jaden Lofrese, the only other returning Hawk to have qualified for the state meet last year, is expected to run in the jamboree; Lofrese placed 10th in the state 2A 800 meter run last May.
On the links, the Mountlake Terrace Hawks golf teams will be teeing it up this season under the tutelage of new coaches. The Hawk girls’ squad will be coached by Mike McDaniel while the boys’ team is being led by Spencer Gray.
The Lady Hawks open their season on Wednesday, March 13, in a dual meet against the Edmonds-Woodway Warriors at the Nile Golf and Country Club in Mountlake Terrace. The Terrace boys will begin their season on Thursday, March 14, in a four-way meet at Gleneagle Golf Course in Arlington against Kamiak, Archbishop Murphy and Arlington.
Mountlake Terrace Hawks 2019 Girls Tennis
Coach: Josh Basha (first year)
2018 record: 3-12 overall; Annie Hoang fourth in WIAA 2A State Tennis Singles Championships
2019 schedule: click http://www.wescoathletics.com/index.php?pid=0.3.40.18.321
Mountlake Terrace Hawks 2019 Track & Field
Coach: Russ Vincent (15th year)
2019 boys schedule: click http://www.wescoathletics.com/index.php?pid=0.3.40.7.321
2019 girls schedule: click http://www.wescoathletics.com/index.php?pid=0.3.40.16.321
Mountlake Terrace Hawks 2019 Boys Golf
Coach: Spencer Gray (first year)
2019 schedule: click http://www.wescoathletics.com/index.php?pid=0.3.40.8.321
Mountlake Terrace Hawks 2019 Girls Golf
Coach: Mike McDaniel (first year)
2019 schedule: click http://www.wescoathletics.com/index.php?pid=0.3.40.14.321
— By Doug Petrowski