Sports

Falcon tennis team tops Anacortes, Friday Harbor

Falcon tennis players Harrison Price and Zach Comfort are doubling up on the courts this season. - Jeff VanDerford / The Record
Falcon tennis players Harrison Price and Zach Comfort are doubling up on the courts this season.
— image credit: Jeff VanDerford / The Record

Three schools. Three very different opponents.

That’s what the South Whidbey boys tennis team discovered when they played Anacortes on Sept. 10, then Friday Harbor and Sehome this week.

Falcon coach Tom Kramer noted it was quickly apparent that Anacortes was the first match of the season.

“Both teams traded mistakes liberally,” he said. “We have much work to do to erase some of the weaknesses that competition brings out.”

South Whidbey won 4-3.

In singles action, Riley Newman won for the Falcons 6-0, 6-1; Van Morgen, 6-0, 6-0; Harrison Price, 6-0, 6-0 and Brendan Riley 7-5, 6-0.

In doubles play, Jonah Jolley and Zach Comfort lost 2-6, 2-6; Steve Raden and Eric Vanderbilt-Matthews lost in three sets 3-6, 6-1, 4-6 and Evan and Aren Mattens lost 5-7, 2-6.

Next up was Friday Harbor, a smaller school with inexperienced players, and it showed: South Whidbey won 7-0.

“I switched the lineup to better handle future challenges,” Kramer said. “Freshman Guy Sparkman won his first varsity match with a solid showing at the top level. He worked very hard.”

In singles, it was Newman, 6-0, 6-0; Morgen, 6-0, 6-0; Riley, 6-2, 6-1 and Sparkman, 6-3, 6-4.

In doubles, Jolley and Vanderbilt-Matthews won 6-3, 6-2; Comfort and Price 6-0, 6-0 and Steve Raden and Evan Mattens 6-2, 6-3.

Mostly smooth running so far. Then the Falcons ran into the tennis buzzsaw called Sehome on Wednesday, losing 7-0.

“There is a reason that Sehome is the top team up north,” Kramer explained. “They have experience, talent and depth, so we have a ways to go yet to successfully compete with them.”

He noted that Price and Comfort are making the adjustments required to become a good doubles team. “I was pleased with the progress they made in a short time,” he said.

“Overall, the match was good in that it highlighted our weaknesses and gave us a good idea of what we need to do,” Kramer added.

In singles play, Newman lost 3-6, 1-6; Morgen, 6-7, 0-6; Riley, 2-6, 1-6 and Sparkman, 2-6, 1-6.

“Riley lost his focus against Will Topp, who he beat for the state championship in May,” Kramer said. “Will is a fine tennis player, very competitive. They’ll meet again at districts.”

In doubles action, Jolley and Vanderbilt-Matthews lost 2-6, 1-6; Comfort and Price, 3-6, 4-6 and Raden and Evan Mattens, 3-6, 2-6.

Sophomores Comfort and Price have been friends since the second-grade and find being matched up comes naturally.

“He’s more consistent than I am,” Comfort said. “That helps to keep me focused when I sometimes lose my temper on the court. He has a good ground stroke and a reliable serve.”

Price said that Comfort’s serves help take the pressure off.

“The thing is, we’re comfortable talking to each other during a match. And Harrison is a great volleyer, which allows me the time I need to get back in the groove when things get shaky.”

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