Northshore Junior High’s girls tennis players did it again.
The Titans finished 10-0 for the third straight season and earned a district title three-peat as well.
This season, the girls added something new to the formula by winning all 70 of their matches against their five other Northshore school opponents in the two singles and five doubles matches each contest.
“It was an amazing thing that happened this year. I was shocked by that,” said head coach Gary Pilawski.
The coach said the girls were excited to close out the Northshore Junior High moniker with a big season. This fall, the Northshore School District will transition its grades 7-9 junior highs to grades 6-8 middle schools. The district will also add North Creek High into its system.
Pilawski said assistant coach Dan Martin was vital to the team’s success in helping the head coach getting the players prepared for matches. A lot of the Titans also train with individual coaches in the offseason and at summer camps.
And then, there’s the players, who were unstoppable. Pilawski said the Titans — all seventh- and eighth-graders — had a great bonding experience that led to victories. (Pilawski noted that ninth-graders play on high school teams.)
Brooke Demerath, an eighth-grader, was Northshore’s No. 1 singles player and is ranked in the top 20 in her age group in the Pacific Northwest.
“She’s super consistent from all parts of the court,” said Pilawski, who noted that Demerath’s mom, Jane, is the Inglemoor High girls varsity head coach and Brooke’s two older sisters earned college tennis scholarships.
On the doubles front, the Titans’ No. 1 squad consisted of Ashley Egger and Abigail Ledsham, both eighth-graders.
Pilawski said “they were very aggressive at the net,” with Ledsham using her 5-foot-10 frame to reach balls. Egger comes from a tennis family as her mom played for the University of Washington and competed professionally for one year.
As for Pilawski, he gets in some tennis action of his own in United States Tennis Association leagues. He took over Northshore head-coaching duties in 2009 after spending time as the school’s assistant coach for the previous four years.