High School Sports

Sehome Mariners boys’ tennis preview

Coach: Bonna Giller

Last year: 13-1 overall (tied for first with Bellingham in the Northwest Conference). ... Won their first 10 matches before losing to the Red Raiders 4-3 on Oct. 10. ... Sent Brady Anderson, Max Shmotolokha and Reece Gilbert to the state tournament. ... The doubles pairing of Shmotolokha and Gilbert lost in the 2A final. ... As a team, the Mariners finished third in the 2A classification.

Players to watch: Brady Anderson (Jr.), Reece Gilbert (Jr.); Max Shmotolokha (Jr.).

Outlook: The core that led Sehome to a third-place finish at the Class 2A State Tournament is back in Anderson, Gilbert and Shmotolokha. Anderson finished second at the bi-district tournament last season, while Gilbert and Shmotolokha are going back to singles after pairing together to finish second at state in doubles. “We’re looking good. There’s a lot of competition — a lot of guys battling for spots,” Giller said in a phone interview. In particular, Giller has been pleased with her three junior singles players. “They just continued where they left off last year, except being bigger and stronger,” she said. Anderson, the 2013 All-Whatcom County Boys’ Tennis Player of the Year, and Shmotolokha have been competing for the No. 1 singles spot, pairing together to make one of the best 1-2 combos in the state. The doubles grouping is less established, though, with as many as five teams jockeying for the top three spots. “It’s always a mystery, and this year is no exception,” Giller said. “We have yet to have one team staying at the top any given day. ... We might have to flip a coin come Friday (Sept. 12).” Giller said the open competition will run into the season, as she plans on letting a few matches play out before she has a better sense for her top three pairings.