Juneau defeated Whitehorse 325 games to 289 games to win the Capital Cup on Sunday in Whitehorse.
The three-day tennis competition started on Friday and featured just over 50 matches. Each match consisted of an eight-game pro set (first player to eight games wins the match) and pitted Juneau and Whitehorse players against one another. The first Capital Cup took place in 1983 and has been held on 20 different occasions since then.
The win improves Juneau’s overall Cup record to 12-7-1 and ends a three-year losing streak.
“The victory maybe was a little bit sweeter because of those defeats,” Juneau team captain Josie Bahnke said. “It feels fantastic for Juneau tennis and our team.”
Bahnke was one of 22 players from Juneau to make the trip. She said spending the time getting acclimated to playing in Whitehorse — which is at a higher altitude and typically warmer than Juneau — made a big difference.
“We scored a lot of points Friday night and we had a good night,” Bahnke said. “That’s a little bit different for us. Typically we’re rushing to get to the courts; we’ve been on the ferry, we’re driving all day and then we jump on the courts. In the past, we’ve I think lost points on Friday night.”
The Juneau team included three teenage players in Wolf Dostal, William Smoker and Adelie McMillan, all of whom played for the Juneau-Douglas High School last season. Dostal competed in 42 games, the most of any Juneau player. Nick Pongphai, who won all of his matches, competed in the second-most games on the team at 35.
Abby O’Brien and Art Dee took down Laurie Drummond and Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis 8-1 in the Mayor’s Doubles Match.
“Winning feels great but I think a lot of us learned a lot from the defeat side of things,” Bahnke said. “I think overall, our hard work, our teamwork really paid off for us in bringing this year’s Cup home.”
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