Wolves fighting for third place in Narrows League

It’s been nearly 10 years since a South Kitsap High School boys tennis team found itself in a fight for a position higher than fourth place in the Narrows League.

Now the Wolves are caught in the middle of a dogfight for the all-important third place.

The top three teams in the league automatically advance three singles players and three doubles teams to the Narrows League tournament.

But teams in fourth or worse can only advance two singles players and two doubles teams.

With four matches remaining, they control their own destiny.

Yesterday the Wolves hosted Port Angeles in a crucial match in the standings.

Both teams entered the match tied for third place.

Results were unavailable at press time.

SK is gearing up for Olympia — another team battling for third place — Tuesday in Olympia.

The Wolves almost played themselves out of the running last week.

On Monday they escaped Bremerton with a 3-2 win.

SK’s No. 1 and No. 2 singles players, Kevin Yoder and Kyle Penn, lost their matches and put the fate of the match in the doubles matches.

The SK No. 1 doubles team of Steve Dole and Jeremy Drake defeated Chris Gonzalez and Michael Stitt 6-1, 6-1.

Adam Bennett and Andy Hultz teamed up in No. 2 doubles to defeat Brad Crookshank and Ryan Hinrichson 6-2, 6-1.

Ryan Austin and Doug Lyman clinched victory in No. 3 doubles with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Matt Foxworthy and Reinard Lee.

It turned out to be a big week for Austin and Lyman.

They followed up their performance against Bremerton with a tough 7-6, 6-4 win against Stadium’s Vinny Rauh and Chance Sosa at the SK courts Thursday afternoon.

The match was accompanied by a strong contingent of spectators who added flavor to the match.

The home court advantage belonged to Austin and Lyman, and they needed every bit of it.

Trailing 2-5 in the first set, the fan base started to cheer every SK point and it obviously pumped up the duo.

They came back to force a tiebreaker and won it 7-3, coming away with a tough 6-4 second-set win.

“I’m really pleased that they were not only able to come back and win that first set but to finish it off in the second set,” SK coach Eric Bergeson said.

After easy wins were registered by Yoder and Penn, the No. 1 doubles team of Dole and Drake and the No. 2 doubles team of Bennett and Hultz lost their matches to pit the No. 3 doubles match as the deciding match.

Bergeson said he’s having a hard time getting consistent play out of his doubles teams.

Until Brandon Adams, the Wolves No. 1 singles player, returns from his suspension in mid-October, Bergeson said it’s shaken up his lineups.

“It’s definitely changed things,” Bergeson said. “We’re missing Brandon.”

Bergeson said his best doubles team is when Penn and Bennett play together, but he has had to play Penn at No. 2 singles to fill the void of Adams.

Against PA yesterday Bergeson decided to put Penn and Bennett back together and left the No. 2 spot up for grabs between a couple of players.

SK’s next home match is a Wednesday makeup against Lincoln at 3:30 p.m.

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