For Tumwater High School tennis phenom Ty Gentry, Saturday’s Class 2A state boys championship match was more coronation than competition.
Dressed in a University of Oregon hat, shirt and sweats — he’s headed to UO in the fall — Gentry seemed relaxed as he waited his turn inside the Nordstrom Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Washington. He chatted with friends. He ate lunch. He watched others finish their matches.
A little after 1:30 p.m., Gentry shed his Oregon gear and took the court for his finals match against Sehome’s Max Shmotolokha, then did the same thing he’s done throughout his decorated high-school career: He dominated.
Gentry overpowered Shmotolokha, winning his third consecutive 2A singles title, 6-0, 6-0, in a match that lasted less than an hour and finely illustrated the inevitability of Gentry’s three-peat.
“It’s the biggest one yet,” Gentry said after posing for a series of photos with family and friends. “Senior year, the last year, kind of leaving my mark and everything was really important to me, and it feels very special.”
It looked that way. Gentry mixed a powerful serve with deft touch around the net, showing again and again why he hasn’t lost a high-school match since his freshman year. He won two games in the first set without allowing Shmotolokha to score a point, and only four of the match’s 12 games went to deuce or beyond.
“This tournament felt good for all of us that were involved with Ty,” Tumwater coach Jim Click said, “just because he had a big goal to repeat, and I think that’s probably a hard thing to do, being in his position, playing against a really good player.”
Gentry won his semifinal match on Saturday morning, 6-3, 6-1, over Olympic High’s Tye Loan, whom he defeated in last year’s finals. He said his emphasis in this year’s finals was simply to “hit the ball more.”
“In the semis, I was hitting it, (but) I was just kind of getting in a groove,” Gentry said. “But I wasn’t dictating the points, so I kind of wanted to do that toward the end, and I figured it out.”
In 2A boys doubles, the Black Hills duo of Garrett Nelson and Gunnar Nelson finished in eighth place after losing, 5-7, 6-2, 6-0, to Khoa Nguyen and Kaleb Whitemarsh of Washington High.