Moscrop Secondary scored a best-ever fourth-place finish at the B.C. high school AAA tennis championships in Burnaby.
Led by a strong boys’ team, the West Burnaby high school made it to the semifinals of the high school provincials before suffering its first loss of the tournament – a 7-4 loss to eventual runner-up Heritage Woods at the Burnaby Tennis Club on Saturday.
The Moscrop Panthers had a tough opponent in defending five-time champion Sentinel in the ensuing bronze-medal match and dropped a 6-5 decision that came down to a final mixed doubles.
The top-four finish was the best ever outcome for a Burnaby school dating back more than 20 years, said Moscrop coach Daniel Tetrault, a sixth-year Moscrop Secondary instructor and former high school tennis player at Vancouver Technical while growing up.
“We’re very encouraged and looking forward next year to getting to the finals,” Tetrault said.
Led by the top boys’ singles player of the tournament, bantam-aged Luka Vukovic, Moscrop took a lion’s share of the awards following the match-play provincial format.
Vukovic, who helped Canada’s under-14 junior tennis team to a second-place finish at the recent North/Central America and Caribbean qualifying tournament in Florida, won all of the singles matches he played at the high school provincials. Vukovic will be part of Canada’s u-14 team at the World Junior Tennis finals in Prostejov, Czech Republic in August.
Juniors Owen Stimpson and Larry Zhao also went undefeated in boys’ doubles for Moscrop, while a second Moscrop boys’ double team of Grade 11 Dimitri Vukovic and Grade 9 Reid Stimpson lost just one game all tournament long.
The Panthers won their pool with identical 7-4 wins over both Stelly’s and Elgin Park.
The Burnaby school then guaranteed themselves a spot in the semifinals following a 6-5 win over Semiahmoo that came down to a final mixed doubles match that Luka Vukovic and Lindsay Cameron won 6-4 over the South Surrey school.
Abhishek Damania, Ivan Premovic and Milan Zivadinovic also shared in the boys’ success for Moscrop.
Maya Kumagi, Lauren Hum, Elizabeth Fesechko, Phoebe Wong and Cameron will all graduate this year, leaving Abby Low as the lone returning girl on Moscrop next season.
That leaves Tetrault with the job of next year combing the halls at Moscrop for another group of female athletes to build a tennis team around.
“That’s the plan,” he said. “That’s the trick, to see who has the potential and who wants to play.”