The good news for Skyview’s Kent Andreasen is that he won’t have Kentwood’s Max Manthou to contend with this year.
On his way to winning four consecutive Class 4A boys singles state tennis titles, Manthou twice beat Andreasen — in the quarterfinals in 2009 and last year in the state title match.
The bad news is that, even though Manthou has graduated, there are still many other top-flight players also looking to succeed Manthou as the state’s best at Class 4A.
The 4A state tournament begins Friday at the Vancouver Tennis Center, with Andreasen being the local favorite in the boys singles bracket.
The Skyview junior will open with a first-round match against Skyline’s Aman Manji at 9 a.m.
Andreasen is coming off a runner-up finish at last week’s bi-district tournament in Spanaway. Andreasen lost to Federal Way freshman Mitch Stewart in the singles final at the bi-district.
Stewart is in the opposite side of the bracket from Andreasen, but Andreasen could face a big challenge in the quarterfinals in Wenatchee junior Hudson Barnhart.
Barnhart placed sixth at state last year and won a doubles state title as a freshman. Last summer, Barnhart beat Union’s Alex Wallace to capture the USTA Pacific Northwest Junior Section Championship.
Barnhart’s teammate Cliff Vidano also is a threat in singles after winning a doubles state title last year.
Union will have two doubles teams in the boys bracket. Tommy Foster and Connor Horne will open with a match against Loren Tanksley and Chris Higginbotham of Woodinville. Union’s Jacob Buckley and Mark Bright will face Peter Killroy and Matt Cerf of Garfield.
New faces make up a good portion of the 4A girls singles bracket, as only one of last year’s four semifinalists return to the field — Angela Chen of Newport. Other returnees to the state field include Katijene Stime of Mead, Katelyn Orchard of Olympia and Leslie Ho of Central Valley.
Two newcomers to the bracket who could make big noise are a pair of Clark County freshmen. Battle Ground’s Kylee Tyler-Breimon and Union’s Jelena Vidovic dominated play in last week’s bi-district tournament, with Tyler-Breimon beating Vidovic in the bi-district championship.
Tyler-Breimon opens against Megan Lalone of Stanwood, another returning state participant, while Vidovic meets Amie Vo of Newport. Those matches are set for 8 a.m.
Skyview will have two doubles teams in the girls field. Brittany Ellingsen and Anna Romanovksy, the 4A GSHL district champs, had to rally back in the consolation bracket at the bi-district last week to reach state, while Tara Carrie and Kristina Metz were surprise performers for the Storm last week.
Players and doubles teams are set to play two matches each Friday as the championship and consolation semifinalists are set for Saturday’s play.