Sehome's Auden West tore through his first two matches at the Class 2A State Tournament on Friday, May 24, at the Nordstrom Tennis Center in Seattle, defeating both his opponents 6-0, 6-0.
West will play a familiar foe, Lake Washington's Arash Hefizi, in the semifinals on Saturday, May 25, with the winner moving on to the championship matchup.
"He had a great morning, and he was in command of his shots and his serve," Sehome coach Bonna Giller said in a phone interview. "In both of his matches, without a doubt he was controlling all the points and forcing his opponent to make the mistakes."
Giller said that while West has had struggles with early-morning matches in the past, his willingness to prepare accordingly is what led to the dominant showing.
While West cruised through his matches en route to the semifinals, Sehome's doubles pairing of Nick Smith and Brady Anderson displayed similar dominance in their first match, but failed to come away with a win in the second.
The duo won its first match 6-1, 6-0 against Lindbergh's Peter Vu and John Franco, an impressive showing of clean and crisp tennis, Giller said.
"They did a decent job in that first round of getting their serve in and not forcing errors," Giller said.
The second match found the two in a much different situation, struggling to limit their unforced errors while failing to come away with the big points when needed.
"It seems like when we got to the critical point, we lost those," Giller said. "We lost those on unforced errors, not on their winners.
"I know it was a match we could have won ... Those are mistakes we have to control," Giller said.
The two are still alive, though, and will play Gabe Valley and Brian Ridd of West Valley on Saturday, May 25, for a chance to get into the 4th/7th place game.
The only other doubles pairing from Whatcom County was Bellingham's E.J. Troutman and Auden Schilder.
The duo found trouble in their first match, losing to Joseph Chung and Jamison Simanson from Pullman in three sets, 1-6, 6-2, 6-3.
"All the sets were closer than they appeared," Bellingham coach Steve Chronister said in a phone interview. "In the first set, when we needed to play good points, like the big points, we played well, or the other guys missed."
The sets that followed were a different story, as the pairing from Pullman played bigger in the pivotal points, Chronister said.
The Bellingham pairing was able to put behind its first-round loss, defeating Ryan Gudbranson and Ryan Padgett from Tumwater in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4.
"They are making good decisions, and they are trying to do the right thing," Chronister said of Troutman and Schilder. "Sometimes you say, 'What are you doing,' and I didn't do that (today)."
Troutman and Schilder, despite the opening loss, will have an opportunity to play for a medal in the 5th/8th place matchup, but they will have to advance past the pairing from North Kitsap to have the chance.
Singles: Avery West (Sehome) def. Jeremiah Bayna (Lindbergh) 6-0, 6-0. Avery West (Sehome) def. Hunter Sears (Ephrata) 6-0, 6-0.
Doubles: Nick Smith/Brady Anderson (Sehome) def. Peter Vu/John Franco (Lindbergh) 6-1, 6-0. John Rasmus/Daniel Yu (Washington) def. Nick Smith/Brady Anderson (Sehome) 6-2, 6-3. Joseph Chung/Jamison Simanson (Pullman) def. E.J. Troutman/Auden Schilder (Bellingham) 1-6, 6-2, 6-2. E.J. Troutman/Auden Schilder (Bellingham) def. Ryan Gudbranson/Ryan Padgett (Tumwater) 7-5, 6-4.