Tennis tournament for players of all skill levels

By LaVendrick Smith | Aug 08, 2012
Courtesy of: Jeff Gilbert "A" singles and mixed doubles champion Jenna Gilbert celebrates her 2011 Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival Tennis Tournament win with sister Alyssa. This year’s tournament is scheduled for Aug. 24-26.

Tennis fever is spreading through Mukilteo.

The annual Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival Tennis Tournament is set for Aug. 24-26. The three-day event starts at 4 p.m. on Aug. 24 at Kamiak High School’s tennis courts.

Tournament coordinator Jeff Gilbert encourages tennis lovers of all skill levels to compete in this year’s tournament. He said it promises great competition and an opportunity for players to network with each other.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Gilbert said. “Some of the most fun matches are the ones where you have an individual where it’s their very first tournament.”

The tournament is divided into men’s, women’s and mixed divisions. Each division is further broken down into an A, B, or C categories, so that players are matched with others at similar levels of skill.

Players may compete in either singles or doubles matches.

“There's going to be a lot of involvement at all of the levels," he said. "So hopefully we'll have really big draws.”

Championship matches in each category will be held on Aug. 26. Winners in each division will receive a T-shirt as a prize.

The tournament is a fundraiser to benefit the Kamiak boys’ and girls’ tennis teams.

Kamiak’s boys’ tennis coach Vic Alinen said he wants events, such as the tournament, to help turn Mukilteo into a tennis mecca. He said he hopes that anyone will register for the event, no matter what their skill level is.

“To have somebody play this game that’s a lifetime game, it would be an opportunity for somebody to strike up a new gift – a new game that they can play,” Alinen said.

“Encouraging those novices – those rookies – that’s how we create Mukilteo interest.”

This is Gilbert’s fourth year coordinating the tournament.

He started playing tennis in high school in California, where he competed in many tennis tournaments in his community. Since moving to Washington, he has had to play mostly club tennis because there are fewer public tournaments.

The festival Tennis Tournament is Gilbert’s way of bringing tennis to Mukilteo.

“This is a way that we can reach out and have tennis for people who might just play on the public courts and would never compete in a tournament,” he said. “It’s a way that they can compete just like club members.”

And, he said, you don’t have to play tennis to enjoy the tournament.

“We definitely want and encourage people who really want to see some quality tennis [to] come out to Kamiak and watch,” Gilbert said.

Registration is $20 for singles and $30 for doubles. The deadline is Aug. 20.

Register for the tournament online at

LaVendrick Smith is an intern for the Mukilteo Beacon.

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