Ready to make some postseason racket

With an 8-1 win over Evergreen on Tuesday, the Hazen tennis team secured a 12-1 record and came closer to a second consecutive Seamount League regular season title.

Hazen’s Melissa Nguyen hits a forehand in her singles match against Evergreen’s Tammy Do on Tuesday. Nguyen won the match 6-4

Hazen’s Melissa Nguyen hits a forehand in her singles match against Evergreen’s Tammy Do on Tuesday. Nguyen won the match 6-4

With an 8-1 win over Evergreen on Tuesday, the Hazen tennis team secured a 12-1 record and came closer to a second consecutive Seamount League regular season title.

“Everyone out there works really hard for this,” said Hazen coach Gail Ellis. “It’s just wonderful.”

The success starts at the top. Senior Melissa Nguyen is the No. 1 girls singles player. Nguyen is 11-0 this season, including two doubles wins. She has held her singles opponents without a single point four times and has yet to let a match move on to a third set. Nguyen made the 3A state tournament last season and has been on varsity since her freshman year. The experience is a big reason for her dominant 2008.

“We had really high expectations coming into the season,” Nguyen said. “We won the league title last year and we wanted to keep at that level. We’ve been on the varsity team for a while, so we know how the season goes.”

Haley Zeylmaker plays in the No. 2 spot and has shut out two opponents on the way to a 15-0 record. The junior hasn’t let any of her matches go on to a third set either.

Although only four girls will advance out of the Seamount League in singles, and Nguyen looks like a good bet to take one of those spots, Ellis thinks Zeylmaker might make the cut.

“She’s done really well,” Ellis said. “She could be a surprise out there.”

Boys singles No. 1 player Ryan Nagamatsu has been nearly as dominant as his female teammates. Nagamatsu has worked to a 14-1 record, with his only loss coming at the hands of Kennedy’s Fraser Chan.

Alex Nevins has gone 6-3, working mostly as the boys No. 2 singles. Tommy Truong has also been a key for Hazen, going 9-3 in mostly doubles, with some work at the boys No. 2 singles spot.

The Highlanders came within one match of a perfect season to this point. When Kennedy edged Hazen 5-4 on April 21, Ellis watched nervously from the sidelines.

“I know what they’re capable of,” Ellis said. “Every match is nerve-wracking for me.”

Ellis said she would have liked a perfect season, but is happy with what the Hazen squad has done.

“A perfect season is really hard to do,” Ellis said. “It’s hard to sustain that level for the whole year.”

Hazen beat Kennedy 5-2 the first time the teams met on March 20.

The Seamount League meet is May 8-10 with girls singles, boys singles, girls doubles, boys doubles and mixed doubles matches at Tyee, Evergreen and Highline.

Adam McFadden can be reached at amcfadden@reporternewspapers.com or 425-255-3484, ext. 5054.


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