It’s raining success on SHAPE tennis

Noah Banken returns a serve against Lakenheath's Josiah Kim during a singles tennis match at RAF Lakenheath, England, Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. Banken won 8-0.


By WILLIAM HOWARD | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 15, 2017

Note: This article has been corrected.

RAF LAKENHEATH, England — The SHAPE Spartans crossed a lot of water to get to their tennis match with the Lakenheath Lancers, only to face more when they took to the courts.

The Spartans didn’t let it slow them down – just a little soggy - winning all seven matches that were completed Friday evening on sodden tennis courts during intermittent rain showers.

“SHAPE is a strong team. All of the kids persevered through frequent stops and starts due to rain,” Lancer coach Kyle Siftar said. “Overall everyone remained in awesome spirits despite the weather.”

SHAPE’s Noah Banken impressed the spectating Lancer team in his 8-0 singles win against Josiah Kim. One Lancer player remarked: “I want to play like him one day.”

His brother, Seth Banken, earned a 6-1 singles win against Lakenheath’s Joseph Rowberry.

There were a few close matches, though, including SHAPE’s Gregor Vargyas’s 6-4 victory over Lakenheath’s Dominic Bartels.

Another was between Lakenheath’s Jocelyn Choi and SHAPE’s Maria Rebrean. Rebrean was leading 5-3 when Choi was injured and had to default.

The teams tried to complete as many matches as possible between downpours. But after three breaks from the rain, five singles and six doubles games, were eventually canceled.

SHAPE is scheduled to play against Alconbury on Saturday morning before heading back across the English Channel to Belgium. There’s an 80 percent chance of a rain in the forecast.


Twitter: @William16058388

Correction: Synnoeve Lillefosse and Noah Bankin were incorrectly identified in photos in an earlier version of this article.

SHAPE’s Synnoeve Lillefosse hits a tennis ball with all of her strength in a back-and-forth match against Lakenheath’s Tiaralei Cade during a singles tennis game at RAF Lakenheath, England, Friday, September 15, 2017. Lillefosse won 8-3.

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