When doubles partners Joe and Nick Tostenrude walk on to a tennis court, all the comparisons between teammates and family members become more than just a bunch of cliches.
The brothers from Columbia River High School are seeded second in the State AAA boys tennis tournament and advanced to today’s semifinals with a pair of victories Friday at Ferris High School.
The Tostenrude brothers defeated Sun Kai Linn and John Tomanal 6-1, 7-6 of Inglemoore in second-round action, and will play A.J. McClure and Steve Fortney of Newport at 9:30 a.m. at the Spokane Racquet Club for a berth in today’s championship match at 2:30 p.m.
McClure and Fortney defeated Jon Wrigley and Eric Dunovan of Mead in a second-round match 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2. The other Mead doubles team of Brett Kaiser and Mike Foiles lost in the first round.
In today’s other doubles semi, Albert Lu and Ryan Hoy of Sammamish will play Mike Mon and Wilson Nevin of Mountain View, also at 9:30 at the Racquet Club.
In singles action, top seed Jeremy Berman of Newport, second seed Kevin Woo of Kentridge, third seed Clayton Harris of Cascade and Lars Anderson of Bremerton advanced to the semis.
For the Tostenrudes, the championships really are a family affair.
Joe placed fourth in last year’s state doubles tourney as a sophomore, while Nick watched from the sideline as an eighth-grader.
This year the two joined to form an alliance filled with its share of advantages and disadvantages.
“We know how each other plays, so we can adapt to that and adjust for each other’s weaknesses,” Joe said. “One disadvantage is, with a normal partner you don’t get mad at them and with your brother it definitely happens.”
“That’s an advantage - you can let all your frustration out on your partner,” he said. “If you’re playing with someone who’s not related to you, you can’t really do that. The disadvantage is (family members) can get mad at you.”
Nick and Joe were equally quick to point out each other’s individual strengths.
“Nick’s really strong with the low volleys, he places them really well,” Joe said. “He has a strong return and he can really mix up his serve, which helps a lot in doubles, keeping our opponents off balance.”
Nick said his brother brings more than experience to the team.
“His strength is putting away volleys and reflex volleys really quick,” he said. “And his return wasn’t too good today, but his serves can be really good sometimes when he’s getting them in.”
Berman defeated Spanaway Lake’s Kenny Bang, 6-1, 6-2; Anderson beat Wilson’s David Duncan 7-6, 6-3; Harris downed Ryan McCarthy of Walla Walla, 6-3, 6-4; and Woo topped Mercer Island’s Daniel Corey 6-2, 6-2.
Spencer Piston of Lewis and Clark lost in the first round.
The boys semifinals are at 9:30 a.m. and title match at 1 p.m. at the Racquet Club.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.