It was all about blood, not to mention guts, for Squalicum’s unbeaten Dorr tandem, identical twins Kim and Rachel.
Thrilled to be playing their first tennis postseason together, the juniors rallied for a rousing 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over talented Sehome veterans Taylor Harris and Simone Hall in the doubles semifinals of the Class 2A Northwest Sub-District Tournament on Saturday, May 9, before a highly entertained crowd at Sehome.
The fans won’t forget a sensational third-set shot Kim made while taking a hard roll and later requiring a large bandage for a bloody wrist.
“That was amazing!” more than one coach, player and fan said.
The Dorrs will play in the finals on Monday, May 11, at 4 p.m. on the same court against Sehome’s Natalie Knops and Andrea Zucchi, who won a classic 4-6, 7-6 (7), 6-4 semifinal against Bellingham’s Ellie Iwersen and Mariah Miller.
The singles title, to be decided on the same day and time, will be contested between Sehome teammates Lauren Smith and Andrea Clawson, the top two seeds, respectively.
In the semifinals, Smith beat teammate Ali Morrow 6-2, 6-1, and Clawson defeated Sedro-Woolley’s Kassidee Beuse 6-1, 6-0.
Singles and doubles consolation-round matches Monday (one match only for all singles and doubles players) and Tuesday will fill out the field for the 2A District Tournament May 17-18 at Sehome. Five singles players and five doubles teams will qualify for districts.
The effervescent Dorrs both said in true twin fashion, “The point was worth the roll!” to help them rally from a 3-1 third-set deficit.
“We realized we had to become more aggressive at the net,” Rachel said of the response they needed to recover from their first-set loss.
“In the first set, we knew we weren’t playing up to our potential,” Kim said, while also noting the talent of their more experienced opponents. “I think Sehome’s ground strokes were pretty intense, so we knew we needed to become more aggressive at the net to cope with them.”
Rachel said their teamwork was never better than in the last two sets.
“We brought each other up,” said Rachel, who missed last season with a knee injury. “That was the most intense we’ve ever played together. We celebrated every point we got, point by point.”
Squalicum coach Joe O’Brien said he was impressed.
“I’m really proud of the way we played,” he said of his doubles standouts, who tied the third set 3-3, fell behind 4-3 and won the last three games in a wonderfully competitive match.
Harris, who helped Sehome win the Class 2A state title last year as a medalist, said she and Hall would like another crack at the Dorrs.
“I’m hoping we see them again at district,” Harris said. “This was good tennis, a really tough battle. I liked how Simone and I stayed positive.”
Sehome’s spirited senior Knops and junior Zucchi were thrilled to survive a strong challenge by Bellingham’s Iwersen and Miller.
“This is our first year together,” said Zucchi. “This is my first time in the postseason and I’m really excited to get a shot at it.”
Knops noted they are playing very well for their lack of experience together.
“We got together in the last three matches of the (regular) season,” Knops said. “Now we have split the first two matches we have played with them (Iwersen and Miller).”
Zucchi said the key was confidence in each other.
“It really helps that we have the same style,” she said.
Sehome coach Bonna Giller, who sent all nine of her girls to state last year in singles and doubles, is gratified to retain a shot at repeating that distinction.
“We played really well,” Giller said. “Our singles didn’t lose except to each other and our doubles were amazing. All three of our doubles teams are new.”
Bellingham coach Steve Chronister expressed pride in how Iwersen and Miller handled a long day.
“I think we played well,” he said. “We just needed one more point. In the second set, we were either 3 or 4 match points away from winning. Nothing’s easy any more, with so much talent here.”
Sehome junior Lauren Smith was pleased with how she turned back a spirited bid by teammate Morrow, who will now try to clinch a district berth in the consolation round Monday.
“I thought I played well and Ali played well,” said Smith, who works out twice a week on weights, also does a lot of cardio work, and seems much stronger than she was a state runner-up last year. “I thought I was really consistent. I was more patient than I have been.”
Morrow, fifth at state in singles as a sophomore, has emerged as a promising junior both athletically and academically. She has a straight-A average and is taking five Advanced Placement courses.
“Lauren really played well,” said Morrow. “She took the match off her (many) winners, with some beautiful shots that I just couldn’t get to. I was happy with my win over the girl from Anacortes (Phillips). She’s exceedingly athletic, so I just had to be more consistent.”
Blaine’s Mandy Hayes and Emily Roe stayed alive with a first-round consolation doubles win over Vaux/Hurtado 7-6 (7), 6-2. The winner between Hayes/Roe vs. Sehome’s Mia Zucchi and Hailey Holland in the consolation semifinals will clinch a district spot.
Blaine’s Saskia Dolk lost to Sedro-Woolley’s Beuse in the quarterfinals 6-4, 6-0. Dolk was eliminated in the first round of the consolations by Anacortes’ Nicole McInerney 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the last match of the day. The spirited match, won on a fine shot to McInerney, typified the spunk so many girls showed.
CLASS 2A NORTHWEST SUB-DISTRICT
Singles quarterfinals: Lauren Smith (Se) def. Micaela Granberg 6-1, 6-1; Ali Morrow (Se) def. Taylor Phillips (Ana) 6-0, 6-1; Kassidee Beuse (S-W) def. Saskia Dolk (Blaine) 6-4, 6-0; Andrea Clawson (Se) def. Nicole McInerney 6-1, 6-0.
Semifinals: Smith def. Morrow 6-2, 6-1; Clawson def. Beuse 6-1, 6-0.
Doubles quarterfinals: Kim Dorr/Rachel Dorr (Sq) def. Mia Zucchi/Hailey Holland (Se) 6-1, 6-1; Taylor Harris/Simone Hall (Se) def. Alice Heibert/Sophia Lawrence (Bell) 6-2, 3-1 (injury default); Natalie Knops/Andrew Zucchi (Se) def. Sally Vaux/Hope Hurtado (Ana) 6-0, 6-0; Ellie Iwersen/Mariah Miller def. Mandy Hayes/Emily Roe (Blaine) 6-1, 6-0.
Semifinals: Dorr/Dorr def. Harris/Hall 3-6, 6-2, 6-4; Knops/A. Zucchi def. Iwersen/Miller 4-6, 7-6 (7), 6-4.
Consolation singles first round: McInerney def. Dolk 3-6, 6-3, 7-5; Phillips def. Granberg 7-6, 6-2.
Consolation doubles first round: Mia Zucchi/Holland won by default over Heibert/Lawrence; Hayes/Roe def. Vaux/Hurtado 7-6 (7), 6-2.