THE BELLINGHAM HERALD
Sehome girls' tennis is guaranteed at least second place in doubles play at the Class 2A Girls' Tennis State Tournament after its three doubles teams advanced to the semifinal Friday, May 30, at the Nordstrom Tennis Center in Seattle.
Singles player Lauren Smith is also still in contention for a state title.
The Sehome sister duo of Madison Harris and Taylor Harris earned 6-2, 6-3 and 6-2, 6-1 wins to advance to the semifinals.
"Madison and Taylor are playing great tennis," Sehome coach Bonna Giller said in a phone interview. "They had great energy and they play well together."
The Harrises will take on their teammates Natalie Knops and Emily Webster in the semifinals. Knops and Webster advanced with a little more trouble, taking a long 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 win in the first round and a 6-1, 6-2 win in the quarterfinals.
"This was Natalie's and Emily's first time at this level, so they had some jitters," Giller said. "They just felt like it was surreal. It took them awhile to acclimate to their surroundings. At set break I said, 'Tennis is tennis, you still have to hit the ball over the net. It doesn't matter that it's state.'"
After Giller's words of encouragement, Knops and Webster were able to settle in and focus on the match.
"I think we were nervous," Webster said in a phone interview. "Natalie's serves were on fire and when we do something well it pumps us up. We saw the Harrises at sub-districts and took it to a third set, but they're just awesome. It's going to depend on how we're feeling."
On the other side of the bracket, the Mariners' Lizzie Friesen and Simone Hall cruised to a 6-2, 6-0 win in the first round. In the second round they were tripped up a little more, but pulled off the 6-5, 5-7, 6-0 win.
"(In the third set) we just clicked. We were trying to out-hit them, and in the third set we really pulled it together by going back to basics," Hall said in a phone interview. "They were rushing the net after every serve and volley and dominated the net in the second set. Before that we were getting free hits, so now we had to get around them."
In singles play, Smith advanced with two 6-0, 6-0 wins.
"They were both quick matches, she didn't have to work really hard," Giller said. "She has some tough competitors in her way now, though."
Andrea Clawson started out hot with a 6-1, 6-0 win, but took a 6-4, 6-1 loss in the second round and is now in the consolation side of the bracket.
"Andrea ran into Anna Scheibmeir, a really good player who is extremely powerful," Giller said. "Andrea didn't have any problems with the pace, but they started playing 'who can hit the hardest' and she got out of her gameplan. It was still one of her best matches all season."
Ali Morrow was handed a close 0-6, 6-4, 6-1 defeat in the first round, but bounced back in the first consolation match with a 6-1, 6-1 win.
"Ali started out with a long, exhausting match," Giller said. "I told her she only had 30 minutes until the next one and she looked at me like, 'Are you kidding me?' But she came out and got back to her game and didn't feel sorry for herself."
The Class 2A Girls' Tennis State Tournament continues at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 31, at the Nordstrom Tennis Center in Seattle.
CLASS 2A GIRLS
SINGLES (School) Rnd. Opponent (School) Scores
Andrea Clawson (Sehome) First Keestan Andersen (Othello) W 6-1, 6-0
Qrts. Anna Scheibmeir (Centralia) L 6-4, 6-1
Ali Morrow (Sehome) First Tori Berditchevskaya (Pullman) L 0-6, 6-4, 6-1
Cons. Lillian Albright (Centralia) W 6-1, 6-1
Lauren Smith (Sehome) First Melina Johnson (Olympic) W 6-0, 6-0
Qrts. Daphne Reilly (Prosser) W 6-0, 6-0
DOUBLES (School) Rnd. Opponent (School) Scores
Lizzie Friesen/Simone Hall (Sehome) First Demi Brekhus/Teighan Moore (Ephrata) W 6-2, 6-0
Qrts. McKailey Fast/Jaycee Foster (Centralia) W 6-5, 5-7, 6-0
Madison Harris/Taylor Harris (Sehome) First Sydney Roberts/Samantha Walsh (Sumner) W 6-2, 6-3
Qrts. Gabrielle Bivins/Kristi Floyd (Franklin Pierce) W 6-2, 6-1
Natalie Knops/Emily Webster (Sehome) First Stephanie Her/Alexa Yadama (Pullman) W 3-6, 7-5, 6-4
Qrts. Jazmine Ortiz/Marijo Manaois (Washington) W 6-1, 6-2