The Western Conference South Division tennis race is wide open and Jackson is right in the thick of things.
The Timberwolves took a major step toward defending their co-league title by besting co-champion Shorewood in the first meeting between the two schools this season.
The Wolfpack swept the doubles matches en route to a convincing 5-2 victory Sept. 24 at Shorewood High School.
Jackson, however, likely will have to fend off a serious challenge from Edmonds-Woodway if it is going to defend its crown. The Warriors defeated the Timberwolves 5-2 earlier in the week to stake their claim as the top team in the league.
But Edmonds-Woodway lost 4-3 to Shorewood two weeks ago, so it’s clear to Wolfpack coach David Hutt that the league race is far from settled.
As of Tuesday’s results, Shorewood, Edmonds-Woodway and Jackson all had one loss.
“Right now a lot of teams are kind of bunched in at the top,” Hutt said. “Edmonds-Woodway early on looks like they have the most talent. They beat us 5-2. There were some really close matches, but they were in control of that match. They look like the strongest.”
Jackson gets a second shot at Edmonds-Woodway when the two schools meet at 3:45 p.m. today (Friday, Oct. 1) at Edmonds-Woodway High School.
“This week should answer a lot of questions as far as who’s where,” Hutt said. “By Friday the league will have some kind of separation and we’ll see who the better teams are. It’ll be interesting this week.”
The Timberwolves head into today’s key encounter with some momentum after easily dispatching Shorewood.
Mike Reading and Alex Yee, Jackson’s No. 1 and No. 2 singles players, defeated their opponents in straight sets. All three of the Wolfpack’s doubles teams, including No. 1 duo Phil Kim and Nick Reed, also notched straight-set victories. Andrew Branson/Hunter Houvener and Andrew Choi/Brian Park dropped a total of only six games in four sets.
In order to come out on top against Edmonds-Woodway, Jackson’s doubles team are going to have to play significantly better than they did the first time, Hutt said. All three of the Timberwolves’ doubles teams lost to their Warrior counterparts with two of losses coming in straight sets.
Jackson rebounded from its first defeat with a strong overall effort against Shorewood later in the week.
“We ended up sweeping the doubles, which was kind of surprising,” Hutt said. “That was kind of unusual. They’re a good team. We played quite well that day. Hopefully, they learned from the Edmonds match … learned what to do to beat that good of a team. They were a little more prepared for Shorewood.”
Reading, the defending league and district champion, and Yee are both undefeated in singles this season.
“They’re both playing well,” Hutt said. “They’re experienced and it shows on the court. When things get really tight, they stay calm and stay composed and do a really good job. It’s fun watching those two. It’s fun to be around them. They’re having another great year.”