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   Wolf netters (l to r) William Nelson, Pedro Gamarra and Joey Lippo hang out at the district tourney. (Connie Lippo photo)

For the second straight year, Coupeville High School netters Joey Lippo and William Nelson came within one win of advancing to the state tournament.

But, despite ending the West Central District III boys tennis tourney Thursday with a victory over league rivals, the Wolf duo have reached the end of a remarkable four-year run together.

Maybe.

Having finished third at districts, Lippo and Nelson are the alternates to state, which means they could still get the call if illness, injury or, say, a kidnapping, were to go down and make life miserable for either of the top two duos.

There’s plenty of time for unforeseen circumstances to develop, as boys tennis is played by some schools in the fall and some in the spring.

That means state isn’t held until late May, when Lippo will likely be playing baseball for CHS and Nelson running the soccer pitch for the Wolves.

If that call doesn’t come, though, the duo can look back on a stellar career, where, except for two matches, they played together as an exclusive doubles team for all four seasons.

Coming off a title at the Olympic League tournament, Lippo and Nelson opened districts with a win Wednesday, then lost a titanic three-set battle to a Vashon team Thursday morning.

Coupeville’s best rebounded to drill a duo from Klahowya, which moved them forward into a rematch with the Vashon netters in the second/third place match.

Except…

District tourney rules are clear — “if a rematch occurs during the tournament this match will not occur and the winner from the first match will advance to the next round.”

While it might seem unfair, Coupeville was dinged by the exact opposite rule a couple of years back, when Aaron Curtin was denied a trip to state when he lost a rematch to a Vashon player he had already beaten.

So, basically, no matter which way the rule is written that year, the rich school will ALWAYS come out on top in the hoity-toity world of high school tennis.

End of story.

While Lippo and Nelson finished districts with a 2-1 record, Coupeville’s other four competitors — singles aces Pedro Gamarra and Jakobi Baumann and doubles duo Nick Etzell and Mason Grove — went two and out.

Baumann, a junior, and Grove, a sophomore, are the only Wolves who could return next season.

Etzell, Lippo and Nelson are seniors, while Gamarra is a foreign exchange student.

Complete Thursday results:

Singles:

Pedro Gamarra:

Lost to Zain Mian (Charles Wright) 6-3, 6-0
Lost to Amadeo Gallina (Vashon) 6-1, 6-3

Jakobi Baumann:

Lost to Jacob Kraft (Klahowya) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3

Doubles:

William Nelson/Joey Lippo:

Lost to Wyatt Kepler and JJ Bogaard (Vashon) 6-4, 4-6, 7-5
Beat Morgan Seidel/William Stewart (Klahowya) 7-5(8-6), 6-1

Mason Grove/Nick Etzell:

Lost to Mason Rice/Hank Rogers (Vashon) 7-6, 6-4

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   Pedro Gamarra won two of three matches Monday at the Olympic League tennis tourney, earning a trip to districts. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

   Jakobi Baumann is overcome after pulling off a stunning come-from-behind win to qualify for districts. (Ken Stange photo)

Guts.

Determination.

An indomitable will to win.

Coupeville High School junior Jakobi Baumann showed all that, and more, Monday, as he pulled off a stunning reversal of fortune to kick off the long-delayed 1A Olympic League boys tennis tourney.

After being rained out twice on Whidbey, the netters found clear skies and dry courts in Chimacum, and the Wolves took advantage, with six of their nine competitors earning a trip to districts.

Of the six, it might mean the most to Baumann, who trailed Chimacum’s big-hitting, highly-vocal JJ Klaric 4-0 in a loser-out pro set.

Two weeks ago, the pair met up in a regular-season match and Klaric came out on top in a three-set thriller.

Monday, it was Baumann’s turn to wrest the spotlight away, as the cerebral cool cat battled for an hour-and-a-half before eliminating his ornery foe 8-6.

With that victory, he joins fellow singles player Pedro Gamarra and the doubles teams of Joey Lippo/William Nelson and Mason Grove/Nick Etzell, in punching their tickets to Tacoma.

The Wolves open the two-day district tourney Wednesday afternoon at Sprinker Tennis Center.

Lippo and Nelson, making a final bid at reaching the state tourney as seniors, claimed the league doubles title Monday, rolling to a 3-0 record on the day, while Klahowya’s Taylor Fite captured the singles crown.

Gamarra was third and a mentally drained Baumann fourth in singles play, while Grove and Etzell played the most matches of any Wolves, splitting four bouts to claim third place.

Coupeville’s #3 seeds, singles ace Nile Lockwood and doubles duo Zach Ginnings and Drake Borden, were knocked out of the tourney in the single-elimination first round.

Klahowya will also send six netters to districts, with Fite and Jacob Kraft being joined by the duos of Morgan Seidel/William Stewart and Joe Bowman/Nick Hytinen.

Neither Chimacum or Port Townsend advanced any players.

Complete Monday results:

Singles:

Pedro Gamarra:

Beat Drew Kraft (Kla) 8-6
Lost to Jacob Kraft (Kla) 6-0, 6-2
Beat Jakobi Baumann (Cp) 6-4, 6-4

Jakobi Baumann:

Beat JJ Klaric (Chim) 8-6
Lost to Taylor Fite (Kla) 6-0, 6-0
Lost to Pedro Gamarra (Cp) 6-4, 6-4

Nile Lockwood:

Lost to Taylor Fite (Kla) 8-0

Doubles:

William Nelson/Joey Lippo:

Beat Mason Lawson/Roman Powell (Chim) 8-0
Beat Nick Etzell/Mason Grove (Cp) 6-4, 6-2
Beat Morgan Seidel/William Stewart (Kla) 6-3, 6-1

Mason Grove/Nick Etzell:

Beat Parker Short/Carson Short (Kla) 8-2
Lost to William Nelson/Joey Lippo (Cp) 6-4, 6-2
Beat Joe Bowman/Nick Hytinen (Kla) 6-4, 6-2
Lost to Morgan Seidel/William Stewart (Kla) 7-6(7-2), 6-7(4-7), 11-9

Zach Ginnings/Drake Borden:

Lost to Morgan Seidel/William Stewart (Kla) 8-2

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Koby Schreiber wields a deadly racket. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

   That moment when William Nelson starts to wonder why he didn’t pack a pair of sunglasses.

Braving the sun, Zach Ginnings prepares to launch the ball skyward for a serve.

“I am Thane Peterson! Feel my fury!!”

With a flick of his wrist, Mason Grove ruins a rival player’s afternoon.

And then Nick Etzell went all Incredible Hulk on everyone.

Can this really be the fall tennis season?

Seven matches into the campaign and not only hasn’t a single match come anywhere remotely close to being rained out, but it felt like summer Wednesday afternoon.

Taking advantage of the sun ‘n fun, the Wolf netters thrashed visiting Chimacum, while roving camera clicker John Fisken busied himself snapping for hours.

The pics above are courtesy him, and you can see tons more (Fisken finished in the triple digits) by popping over to the link below.

And remember, when you buy, you help finance college scholarships for CHS student/athletes.

Something to keep in mind.

http://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/2017-2018-Coupeville-Tennis/2017-09-27-vs-Chimacum/

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   Harris Sinclair teamed with Koby Schreiber for one of Coupeville’s three wins Thursday afternoon. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It’s a friendly rivalry, but largely a one-sided one.

South Whidbey has had Coupeville’s number on the tennis court more times than not in recent years, and that held true again Thursday afternoon.

Other than a strong victory at #2 doubles from Mason Grove and Nick Etzell, the Wolves had few answers for the Falcons, falling 4-1.

The non-conference loss drops Coupeville to 1-4 heading into a home match Friday against always-strong Overlake (3:30 PM).

Complete Thursday results:

Varsity:

1st Singles — Pedro Gamarra lost to Levi Buck 6-2, 6-1

2nd Singles — Jakobi Baumann lost to Larsen Christiansen 6-3, 6-3

1st Doubles — William Nelson/Joey Lippo lost to Hank Papritz/Ryan Wenzek 6-3, 6-0

2nd Doubles — Nick Etzell/Mason Grove beat Aengus Dubendorf/Michael Lux 6-2, 6-1

3rd Doubles — Nile Lockwood/Zach Ginnings lost to Brent DeWolf/Joey Lane 8-2

JV:

4th Doubles — Tiger Johnson/Jaschon Baumann lost 6-4

5th Doubles — Thane Peterson/Drake Borden won 6-4

6th Doubles — Koby Schreiber/Harris Sinclair won 6-4

7th Doubles — Lockwood/Ginnings lost 6-2

8th Doubles — Johnson/Jas. Baumann lost 6-4

9th Doubles — Borden/Peterson lost 6-2

10th Doubles — Sinclair/Schreiber lost 6-4

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   Pedro Gamarra, well-dressed man about town, glides in for a shot. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Joey Lippo: “Aha, my old nemesis, we meet again!”

Mason Grove tests just how limber he really is.

   William Nelson takes a moment to calculate every possible outcome in his head in the millisecond before he beats the snot out of the ball.

Jaschon Baumann has his eyes firmly glued on the prize.

Clear skies.

That was the biggest difference Wednesday for the Coupeville High School boys tennis squad.

The thick, choking smog from Canadian forest fires which plagued the previous home match was long gone, and that benefited everyone, from players to the photographer working the sidelines.

The guy with the constantly-clicking camera is John Fisken, and the photos above are courtesy him.

To see everything he shot (purchases fund college scholarships for CHS student/athletes), pop over to:

http://www.johnsphotos.net/Sports/2017-2018-Coupeville-Tennis/2017-09-13-vs-Kingston/

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