Quincy closes season with state tennis appearance
Quincy High School’s tennis team finished its 2019 season with a trip to the state tournament in Seattle May 24-25.
The trip did not have the ending of past years, with Quincy players placing among the top eight. This time around, neither Louis Merred nor Efrem Roseburg placed in the boys singles’ bracket, but the experience was a positive one for both Jacks fuzz-peelers.
It did not start that way, coach Matthew See said, with both players putting up subpar performances in their first round matches.
“I’m always really honest with our kids, and I don’t sugarcoat a whole lot,” See said, later adding that the first-round performances were among the worst of the season for Merred a state returner, and Roseburg, a first-timer.
Roseburg lost to White River’s Jared Zaugg, 1-6, 1-6, and Merred lost to Anacortes’ Luke Rutz, 1-6, 2-6.
A combination of nerves mixed with the oddity of playing indoors hurt the Quincy players, See said.
“You feel like you are on a giant stage, with everybody looking down at ya,” See said. “It can be really intimidating.”
He then added, “It’s state, so everybody is good.”
Zaugg finished seventh in state, and Rutz went on to finish sixth.
Roseburg and Merred played a lot better in the second match. Roseburg lost to Foss’ Jake Martin, an eventual fifth-place finisher, 2-6, 2-6. Merred defeated Centralia’s Ryan Mack, 6-1, 6-4.
If Roseburg had beaten Foss, his next opponent would look quite familiar.
“It would have been a big bummer,” See said of having Merred and Roseburg play each other in a loser-out match if they had both won their second matches. “It would have been a battle, but a good battle.”
As it turned out, Merred instead played Martin, who defeated the senior from Quincy, 1-6, 2-6, ending the Jacks’ tourney.
“I know they would have liked to do better, but at the same time, I know they were both overall happy with the fact that they made it (to state),” See said.
The state title went to Shane Lynette of Bellingham’s Sehome High School, one of the great storylines of the tournament. On the last match of his prep career, the senior and four-time state finalist went home a winner at last.
Third place went to Masato Kuroshima, of Ephrata.
Quincy will unveil eight brand-new courts next spring at the new high school. With courts at the new QHS, the old QHS and Lauzier Park, the prospect of hosting bigger tournaments may become a reality for the Jacks, See said, and not just during the season or post-season.
“One tournament I would love to do one day would be called the Quincy Ones or something,” he said. “It would be an invite for all the schools around Central Washington to bring in their No. 1 guys and girls, singles and doubles. That would be a great way to get some of those best kids some great competition.”
By Sebastian Moraga, For the Post-Register