Jackson duo captures 4A state crown | Tennis
Last updated 6/7/2019 at Noon
Jackson’s Anuj Vimawala and Daniel Sohn scripted the perfect end to their high school careers.
The two seniors were at the top of their game at the 4A boys tennis tournament.
Vimawala and Sohn did not lose a single set en route to winning the state doubles championship Saturday, May 25, in Richland.
The Jackson duo defeated Newport’s Arnav Sahu and Lucas Huang 7-6 (2), 6-3 in the finals.
“Coming into the high school tennis season, my main goal was to play in state,” Sohn said. “To finish off my senior year with a state title, I could never have imagined it. It’s an amazing feeling.”
Sohn and Vimawala have known each other since the sixth grade. Vimawala introduced Sohn to the sport.
“To have done it with one of my best friends makes it even better,” Vimawala said.
The two played singles during the regular season last fall, but then Vimawala and Sohn decided to team up for the postseason. The Jackson duo won the district title and then kept busy during the winter and spring. The month before state, Vimawala and Sohn played almost every day.
“This year I thought we had a really good chance seeing how much we improved,” Vimawala said. “I thought we could go deep in state. We had pretty high expectations. We were hoping to place pretty high.”
Vimawala and Sohn opened with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Lewis and Clark’s Max Ellingson and Roman Mojto and then downed Camas’ Akashi Prasad and Jake Gianan 6-3, 6-3 in the quarterfinals. The Jackson duo defeated Issaquah’s Ryan Cho and Hampus Holmgren 6-2, 7-6 (1) in the semifinals.
After Vimawala and Sohn prevailed in the tiebreaker in the first set of the finals, Sohn started cramping up in the second set. The two, however, were able to compensate for Sohn’s limited mobility and won the second set and the match.
“I was really covering the net,” Vimawala said. “We fought through it.”
Sohn said he and Vimawala developed a strong chemistry through the years.
“We’ve known each other for a long time,” Sohn said. “That long time friendship made us stand apart from the rest of the teams.”
Though they’ve known each other since the sixth grade, this year was the first time Sohn and Vimawala have joined forces as a double team.
Vimawala’s and Sohn’s teammate, Brady Thomas, had a memorable debut at the state singles tournament.
Thomas finished second, advancing to the finals where he lost 6-1, 6-1 to Newport’s Amol Koli. The Jackson sophomore opened with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Gonzaga Prep’s Marcell Scudiero and then won by injury default in the quarterfinals. Thomas prevailed 7-6 (4) 6-4 over Skyline’s Bryan Khoo in the semifinals.
“He played amazing tennis,” Vimawala said. “He was playing smart. He was keeping himself up. He was willing to grind out the point. He’s really matured as a player being more confident. I was really proud to see him get second.”
Newport edged Jackson 23-21 to win the team title.