Bellingham duo, Sehome trio advance to boys' tennis state semifinals

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMay 30, 2014 

The Bellingham team of Nick Nolan and Connor Thompson moved onto the semifinal round and led a successful first day at the Class 2A Boys' Tennis State Tournament for Whatcom County competitors Friday, May 30, at the Nordstrom Tennis Center in Seattle.

Sehome singles player Brady Anderson and the Mariners doubles team of Reece Gilbert and Max Shmotolokha also advanced to the semifinals.

Nolan and Thompson had the toughest fight to stay in the winners bracket, starting with their 6-2, 7-6 win in the first round.

"They were down 4-1 in the second set, but they came from behind and got the tiebreak," Bellingham coach Steve Chronister said in a phone interview. "The comeback was a big deal. They played well in stretches - Nick started off hitting and serving great, then in the second match Connor got hot in the middle of the second match. I'm hoping they'll both be hot tomorrow."

In the quarterfinals, Nolan and Thompson had to battle back again in the second set.

"We came out and had another pretty routine first set, but in the second set it was 3-all, then 5-4 ... we had to battle," Thompson said in a phone interview. "It was good that we were challenged so we have some experience fighting through adversity. Tomorrow I'd like to be more aggressive at the net. Other than that, I think we're playing pretty well."

Nolan arrived in Seattle last night after winning a boys' golf state title with the Bellingham boys' team.

"(Before our match) I compared the mental side of state, from golf to tennis, its like making the cut," Nolan said in a phone interview. "In that first match we had some nerves and felt the pressure, but not the second match."

In singles' play, Anderson cruised through his first matchup with a 6-1, 6-3 win. He then opened the quarterfinal match with a 6-0 set, but stumbled in the second set. He ended up winning 6-0, 5-7, 6-3.

"It wasn't so much his focus, but his energy decreased and it allowed them to sneak back in," Sehome coach Bonna Giller said in a phone interview. "His opponent was good, Brady just jumped on him in the first set. His opponent tomorrow played Avery West last year in the title match and he's taller and stronger now."

The Sehome doubles team of Reece Gilbert and Max Shmotolokha was dominatnt all day, with a 6-0, 6-3 win in the first round and a 6-0, 6-0 win in the quarterfinals.

"In the second match we moved better as a team, we were more consistent and made smarter plays," Gilbert said in a phone interview. "If we win the next match we go indoors and that's a lot faster, so we might have to adjust our timing and strokes."

Nolan and Thompson take on the Lake Washington team of Jonathan Yu and Josh Rasmus in the semifinal tomorrow. Gilbert and Shmotolokha play the Bayna brothers from Lindberg, and Anderson takes on Ty Gentry from Capital.

The Class 2A Boys' Tennis State Tournament continues at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 31, at the Nordstrom Tennis Center in Seattle.

CLASS 2A BOYS

SINGLES (School) Rnd. Opponent (School) Scores

Brady Anderson (Sehome) First Zak Landers (Sumner) W 6-1, 6-3

Qrts. Jerry Landram (Klahowya) W 6-0, 5-7, 6-3

DOUBLES (School) Rnd. Opponent (School) Scores

Nick Nolan/Connor Thompson (Bellingham) First Beau Rabedeaux/Tyler Shuey (Kingston) W 6-2, 7-6

Qrts. Stenn Monson/Garner Sears (Ephrata) W 6-2, 6-4

Reece Gilbert/Max Shmotolokha (Sehome) First Jimmy Do/Noah Durette (Black Hills) W 6-0, 6-3

Qrts. Jake Wirich/Miles Saul (Pullman) W 6-0, 6-0

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