The student news site of Lake Stevens High School


The student news site of Lake Stevens High School


The student news site of Lake Stevens High School


Aiden Hubble
Lady Vikings take to the courts to face the Everett Eagles in a tennis match. Senior Izabella Daer charges to the net to make a point-saving play. “Great team win everybody,” Pitkin, the Varsity coach said after the 6-1 win overall.

Steady Serves

Girls Tennis Teams shows resilience in mid-season stride


The Viking Ladies stepped onto the courts April 10 and 11 about to play their biggest rivals of the season, Glacier Peak. Glacier Peak’s standings before the matches that followed were 6-1. Previously in the season, Glacier Peak completely swept a team, not allowing a single point on any of the courts. The girls knew this was going to be a tough match.

In the end, the match did not go how the Vikings wanted it to, ending in a 2-5 loss on Wednesday and a 1-6 loss on Thursday. Although ending in losses, these women are not deterred from becoming better on the courts and competing harder. 

“One of the many strengths of the girls’ tennis team is their ability to ‘show up,’ help others enjoy the sport, and help each other out emotionally and physically, especially when recovering from a loss” Mr. Pitkin, varsity coach said. 

The tennis season moves fast with some matches being back-to-back-to-back. The girls have to be ready and can’t get caught up on a loss. The season so far is mid-way through as the team sits 2-4 overall and 0-3 in the league. The next opponent up is Mariner who is right above Lake Stevens at 2-3 overall in the standings. 

Leading the way for our team are seniors Ru Sansuddi and Bhu Sansuddi – twins who play as the number one doubles for the team. 

“Being a twin has pros and cons for sure. We both know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, so that’s helpful. We can communicate well with each other, but as everyone knows, there are still arguments that come with siblings,” B. Sansuddi said.

These sisters know the game and have the agility and chemistry to go along with it. As a doubles team, they only have one loss on the season, which was on the first game to Shorewood – a team out of the division who currently sits at 11-0 overall. Last season Ru and Bhu made second in districts and barely missed the mark for first place. 

We really want to go this year, especially with it being our senior year,” Bhu said. 

Pitkin, their coach believes in that goal as he states, “Bhu and Ru have a good shot to go through districts and go to state.”

Their best match this season, according to Bhu, would have to be the Viking Open, a tournament in which all the Vikings teams come together and play. Bhu and Ru took first place in the tournament and got the title of Vikings Doubles 1 Champions. 

The team encompasses a couple of bright young tennis stars alongside Ru and Bhu. Sophomore Cora Jones, who plays the number one singles for the team is steadily improving.

“She has that stuff that I can’t teach somebody, the intangibles,” Pitkin said. 

Being as good as she is, there are some things she could work on Pitkin mentioned as well. As number one singles, she plays the best from each team. Some of these girls have been playing tennis since they were ten years old and have more experience.

“But Cora is catching right up,” Pitkin said. 

Pitkin’s knowledge and passion for tennis is present in his coaching and his own personal play. 

“You can play your whole life in organized leagues. I play at what they a call a 4.0 or the 4.5 level at the UTSA. United States Tennis Association,” Pitkin stated.

Pitkin 13 years of coaching brings a lot of experience and expertise to the tennis program. Pitkin strives for the best coaching at all levels even when it comes to JV and the C-Team and wants to best knowledge taught. 

According to Pitkin, Ryan Michalison, the JV coach who replaced Pitkin in his promotion to Varsity, is very good with people, being a teacher as his day job, and it shows in the added support given to Pitkin and his ability to connect with the girls. 

Going as far as the C-Team, Rick Odom coaches that team at Cavalero and is helping them thrive. He has a good knowledge for the game and an understanding for the importance of being taught right. Being a teacher himself, he also works very well with the young tennis prodigys.

 Pitkin has a strong support system around him in order to formulate a competitive team each year and a great group of women who love to compete. 

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