Never before had St. Michael’s University School made the final of the B.C. High School Tennis AA Championships.
Perhaps the Victoria private school just needed some Yukon talent.
Whitehorse’s Ewan Halliday and Matthias Hoenisch helped St. Michael’s post its best-ever finish at the championships May 25-27 in Burnaby.
“I think the whole team has to be proud,” said Halliday. “It’s such a great result for the school, something that’s never been done.”
The 20-player St. Michael’s team cruised through the first three rounds, outscoring opposing schools 27-6 in sets.
They then topped rival Vancouver Island school Shawnigan Lake 8-3 in the semifinals.
“We have a bitter rivalry with them and in the semifinals we won pretty easily,” said Halliday. “That felt good.”
St. Michaels then lost 6-5 in the final to multi-time defending champs Collingwood School from West Vancouver.
“We’re definitely a bit disappointed because we came so close and we feel like on another day we maybe we could have pulled off the win,” said Hoenisch. “But we’re really, really proud of ourselves and we got a pretty good reception back here at the school.”
Halliday played boys doubles with partner Nirov Mehta, an international student from Egypt, winning five out of eight matches.
Hoenisch played boys singles, and mixed doubles with partner Lucia Morales from Mexico. He went 3-2 in singles and 4-1 in doubles, with their only loss in the final against Collingwood. With the loss being their only of the entire season, Hoenisch and Morales won an award for best mixed doubles team.
With Halliday and Hoenisch, St. Michael’s also won the Vancouver Island high school championships for the first time at the end of April.
Halliday went undefeated to win the men’s singles title at the 2016 Yukon Tennis Championships, becoming the first junior player to win the title since Tennis Yukon was founded in 2007. He represented Yukon in tennis at the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Quebec and the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games in Alberta. Hoenisch also competed in tennis at the 2015 westerns.
Halliday, who is in Grade 10, and Hoenisch, who is in Grade 11, are both finishing their first year of study at St. Michael’s.
“It’s going really well. I really enjoy it,” said Hoenisch. “It’s a really good living experience and I’ve met a lot of international people, which has been really cool.”
“It’s awesome. We get the chance to play every day outside in the sun,” said Halliday.
Contact Tom Patrick at email@example.com