For the ninth time in the past 10 years, the Class 2A girls’ tennis doubles state titlists reside in Whatcom County, and for the eighth time during that same span, so do the state runners up.
Sehome’s Lauren Smith and Andrea Zucchi battled past Bellingham’s Sophia Lawrence and Alice Hiebert in three sets, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, on Saturday, May 28, to claim the title. It marked the third straight year and the seventh time in the past decade that the 2A doubles final has featured an all-Whatcom County showdown.
“For my girls, we prefer to play someone unknown,” Sehome coach Bonna Giller said in a phone interview. “We get a scouting report and talk about strengths and weaknesses no matter who we face. ... It’s hard facing someone you know. It’s not only people you know, but it’s friends. These girls play at the club together and do things together.”
And that familiarity may have hurt Smith and Zucchi a little after they breezed to a win in the first set. Lawrence and Hiebert switched to using lobs and playing the back line in the second set, taking away some of the aggressiveness Smith and Zucchi like to play with.
“It was pretty frustrating,” Zucchi said in a phone interview. “They made some smart plays to take away volleys. Once we changed our mindset and our game plan, I think we came back pretty good.”
They certainly did, claiming the state title with the third-set win. It marks the second time Smith has won a doubles state title, as she also paired with Andrea Clawson as a freshman to win in 2013. Smith also finished runner up in the singles draw in 2014 and 2015.
“It’s been fun coming into high school with a doubles title and going out with one,” Smith said. “It’s funny, my doubles partner as a freshman was an Andrea, and I played with an Andrea this year. ... It was fun getting back into doubles. It’s more relaxed and fun to have a partner.”
Lawrence and Hiebert had to beat teammates Ellie Iwersen and Oriana LoCicero 6-0, 6-2 to make the final, while Smith and Zucchi beat Franklin Pierce’s Lauren Baker and Maddy Ross by the same score in their semifinal.
The doubles pairs weren’t the only Whatcom County girls to reach the final, as Squalicum’s Catherine Michelutti beat Ana Rios 6-3, 6-1 in the semifinals to advance.
Unfortunately, Michelutti fell short of bringing home the state title with a 6-2, 6-0 loss to North Kitsap’s Danya Wallis.
Other state placers
Iwersen and LoCicero rebounded from their loss to their teammates to claim third with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Franklin Pierce’s Lauren Baker and Maddy Ross, while Sehome’s Ali Morrow fell 6-0, 6-1 to North Kitsap’s Anneli Seaberg to take seventh in the singles draw.
North Kitsap managed to hold off Bellingham to claim the team title. The Vikings scored 21 points, while Bellingham was just two points back. Sehome finished third with 16, and Squalicum tied for fourth with 10.
Whatcom County Class 2A girls’ doubles state champions
Class 2A Girls’ tennis state tournament singles results
Round: Opponent (School)
Semi: Ana Rios (Foster)
Final: Danya Wallis (North Kitsap)
W 6-3, 6-1
L 6-2, 6-0
4th/7th: Anneli Seaberg (North Kitsap)
L 6-0, 6-1
Class 2A Girls’ tennis state tournament doubles results
Round: Opponents (School)
Lauren Smith/Andrea Zucchi
Semi: Lauren Baker/Maddy Ross (Franklin Pierce)
Final: Sophia Lawrence/Alice Hiebert (Bellingham)
W 6-0, 6-2
W 6-2, 3-6, 6-2
Ellie Iwersen/Oriana LoCicero
Semi: Sophia Lawrence/Alice Hiebert (Bellingham)
3rd/6th: Lauren Baker/Maddy Ross (Franklin Pierce)
L 6-0, 6-2
W 6-1, 6-1
Sophia Lawrence/Alice Hiebert
Semi: Ellie Iwersen/Oriana LoCicero (Bellingham)
Final: Lauren Smith/Andrea Zucchi (Sehome)
W 6-0, 6-2
L 6-2, 3-6, 6-2