Ram tennis wins at Kent Meridian
By Gerardo Bolong
KENT - Mt. Rainier shot by home team Kent Meridian 5-0 in the 2018 NPSL 4A Cascade Division boys tennis opening match for both squads on Thurs., Sept. 6.
"We had the experience in large spots," said Ram head coach Tim Lee.
Sophomore Lucas Orint and senior Abhi Sanga teamed up to serve and volley past the Royals' Steven Nguyen and Hien Tran, 6-1, 6-0, in No. 1 doubles to ignite the Mt. Rainier charge in comfortable mid 80's temperature.
"We were able to get to the net and get a good percentage of first serves in," observed Orint.
Senior Julian Orint swept by his KM opponent Beau Ervin in a 6-1, 6-1, No. 1 singles event to keep the momentum for the Rams.
No. 2 singles also went to Mt. Rainier as junior Kevin Khong played steadily in besting Zane Cleghorn, 6-2, 6-1.
The dominoes kept falling for the experienced Ram team with seniors Coby Seaver and Riley Stevens stroking past Luis Lopez and Saimon Lay in a 6-1, 6-0, No. 2 doubles win.
Playing their first varsity match, junior Jacob Lomboy and freshman Colin Olmstead overcame first set nervousness to get balls in better position for winning shots in a 6-4, 6-2, No. 3 doubles victory against the Kent Meridian tandem of Kyle Klem and Tobias Sednef to close out the varsity proceedings.
For this season, the Rams have plenty of reason to have confidence with five returnees augmented by a trio of newcomers.
The Orint brothers lead last season's district participants along with Sanga. Seaver and Stevens also return as divisional entries.
"Our returners all had winning records," said coach Lee who is assisted by Jeff Blount. "The good senior leadership trickles down to the rest of the team. The boys play hard at practice and are driven. They want to win."
An example of how strongly driven the players are is shown by the large number of players that were able to participate in 15 out of 15 preseason practices. Others got in 14 practices. The total turnout for varsity and junior varsity is up to 30 players.
"These players are ready to play when they get off the bus," added coach Lee.
According to a confident Lee, Hazen, Kentridge and Kentwood should contend for the top division spot with Tahoma always lurking.
The first test of potential contenders takes place on Fri., Sept. 7, when Mt. Rainier visits Hazen.