Friday Harbor tennis team tallies third straight win

Chalk this one up to depth.

The Friday Harbor Wolverines notched their third consecutive tennis win and remain undefeated, thanks to the performance of a patchwork lineup in obtaining a 3-2 victory at home Tuesday over Lake Stevens.

Without two top players in the lineup, Friday Harbor reached into its roster to fill the gaps and grabbed an early advantage against a mish-mash squad of varsity and junior varsity players from 4A Division Lake Stevens.

Senior Michael Sandifer easily dispatched the Vikings' Andrew Carlson, 8-3, in No. 1 singles, while Friday Harbor's No. 1 doubles Pablo Lopez and Nils Nelson cruised over their opponent 8-0 to give he Wolverines an early 2-0 edge in the best-of-five match. After that, the contest was up for grabs.

Playing No. 2 singles for the first time, Friday Harbor's Conor Lanphere jumped out to an early lead against Viking senior Andre Smith. But momentum slipped away from the Wolverine sophomore down the stretch and Smith, taking advantage of a series of unforced errors, fought his way back into the match.

Lanphere held serve to even the contest at 7-7 but faltered in the tie-breaker, and Smith claimed the win at 8-7, (7-1).

Meanwhile, junior Trevor Younquist, thrust into No. 3 singles competition, had little success against the Vikings' John Benefiel, who notched Lake Stevens' second win with a 8-1 victory. But Friday Harbor's Nick Roberts and Brent Sandifer, teaming up in the No. 2 doubles slot, clinched the match for the Wolverines with a decisive 8-3 victory over Lake Stevens' freshmen McKenzie Simon and Kevin Loughlin.

Both squads expect to have more ammunition on the court when the Wolverines travel Sept. 30 to Lake Stevens for a rematch. Friday Harbor's Spring Street duo, Peter Duggins and Zach Milkis, both unavailable Tuesday, will be back in the lineup while Lake Stevens' Coach Ryan Ingram plans to have more varsity players on hand for the upcoming rematch on the Vikings' home court.

"(Friday Harbor) has some really tough players and we'll need to beef up our lineup and then hopefully we can give them a better match," Ingram said.

Next: The Wolverines are on the road today at Coupeville. The match begins at 3:30 p.m., weather depending.

The Wolverines are at Lake Stevens Sept. 30 and travel to South Whidbey Oct. 1. They host a tournament at home Oct. 4, beginning at 11:15 a.m.

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