Trojan tennis hoping timing, weather is right

Olympic’s Laura Gentile, playing No. 1 singles against Klahowya on Thursday, is one of several young Trojans stepping up. - Aaron Managhan/staff photo
Olympic’s Laura Gentile, playing No. 1 singles against Klahowya on Thursday, is one of several young Trojans stepping up.
— image credit: Aaron Managhan/staff photo

The Olympic girls tennis team has seen it all this season.

“We got on the bus to (Port Angeles) and got turned around,” Olympic coach Don Patraw began listing off. “We got just drenched in some matches. We came out one match to ice. And it’s been weird that many days it rains right at 3 (p.m.).”

All those weather-related cancellations have the Trojans playing a number of make-up matches before next week’s Olympic League tournament kicks off. But it also has them playing catch-up, as Patraw is still trying to find the team’s strengths.

“We really haven’t set any definite patterns,” he said. “We’re still trying to patch together some combos, singles and doubles.”

Which makes the rash of make-ups a beneficial thing.

“This is what the next five (matches) are for,” Patraw said. “This is a real chance to put ‘em out there and try some combos.”

While the Trojans lost 4-3 to Klahowya on Wednesday, the team has been improving and remains enthusiastic on the courts, Patraw said. He said they’ve even kept weather-related qualms and complaints to a minimum.

“I’ve got the most enjoyable group of girls,” he said. “They keep coming out.”

Oly’s captain, senior Issa Bruce figures to lead the Trojans into the postseason, but again, Patraw is still deciding where.

“Issa Bruce has played some good singles for us and she’s mixed in some doubles,” he said. “She’s really been a leader for us.”

Along with Bruce, a host of younger players have been improving, including players like Monica Agana, Laura Gentile and Hanna Mires.

In Mires, a doubles competitor, Patraw said he’s trying to find the ice to her fire.

“She has really improved her doubles play,” he said. “She is the aggressor out there.”

Doubles players Maria de la Rosa and Cassie Winter have also been improving, Patraw said.

With nine freshmen on the team, Patraw said it’s nice that so many girls are getting on-court experience.

“They’ve gotten a taste of what it’s like,” he said.

But the girls aren’t the only ones getting ready for the postseason.

Oly singles player Justin Hike and doubles tandem Scott Lutz and Cory Smith are two weeks away from resuming their own districts. Boys play their regular season and league tournaments in the fall, while finishing the postseason in the spring.

“We had them playing so well at the end of the fall season,” Patraw said.

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