Sports

Wolves humble Foss in tuneup for Bellarmine

The opening of the South Kitsap boys tennis season has a Tacoma kind of feel to it.

And a pair of programs at different levels.

The Wolves defeated a rebuilding Foss team, 4-1, Wednesday, and plays host to perennial Narrows League and Class 4A state power Bellarmine Prep on Tuesday.

South coach Todd Olson said the latter match will show how far along his team is. For now, though, they’re happy to start the season with a win. Senior Dalton Vavra, who qualified for the state tournament last spring, earned a 6-0, 6-0 win against Linh Nguyen in the No. 1 singles.

“I was playing pretty confidently and felt pretty good,” Vavra said.

Even though Vavra is prepared for more difficult competitors in league play, he said the opener provided important experience.

“It kind of gives me more confidence because I know I can hit my strokes even when I know the ball isn’t being hit that hard,” he said. “I can still power up and play my game and not worry about hitting soft or pushing the ball back.”

It also was important to No. 2 singles player Blake Staudenrous, but for a different reason. The freshman, who attends Cedar Heights Junior High, moved to Port Orchard from Italy in May. His father is in the military.

“I was really excited and a little nervous, but it went great,” said Staudenrous, who beat Le Truong, 6-1, 6-3.

South’s top doubles team also features some new talent. Michael Lyman now is playing doubles after serving as the Wolves’ No. 2 singles player a year ago. He’s joined by fellow senior Di Yin, who’s an exchange student from China. The duo earned the Wolves their third win of the match, which guaranteed South the victory against Foss. They defeated Brendan Bantauen and Minh Lam, 7-6, 6-1.

“Our No. 1 doubles has a ways to go, but they played well,” Olson said.

Both Lyman and Yin said their role is an adjustment as neither has played doubles in the past. Yin called his first match a “special experience,” while Lyman said he’s excited about his new role and earning the win.

“We took care of business,” Lyman said. “We did what we’re supposed to

do.”

Chance Campbell and Gavin Klien, the No. 3 doubles team, earned South’s other win with a 6-0, 6-2 victory against Zachary Nodden and Geoffrey Chen. The Wolves’ lone loss came when Foss’ Chris Chong and Thanh Nguyen defeated Chris Hardwick and Dusty Wilkins, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2.

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