Falcons win girls district tennis tourney

"Freshman Jenny Newman hits her way through one of four grueling matches at the Tri-District meet.Scott Hansen / Federal Way MirrorIt may be that the toughest competition South Whidbey doubles players Jenny Saephan and Kylie Bozym see at Friday's state meet will be the two players who have been able to watch them play at every meet and practice this year.Saephan and Bozym won the tri-district 2A tennis championship in Federal Way Friday, but had to go through teammates Paige Jolley and Kaitlin King to do it. The two doubles teams, who along with singles player Jenny Newman won Friday's tri-district team championship, will travel to Yakima Friday to try to defend the team's 2000 state title.Saephan and Bozym, the team's Number 1 doubles team through most of the season, barely got past Jolley and King in Friday's championship match. They won the contest 7-6, 7-5, but knew that they would probably play their fellow Falcons one more time this year -- perhaps for the state championship.Saephan, who was part of last year's state champion team, said Jolley and King are tough opponents because they know every trick play she and Bozym have.We practice with each other every day, she said.Friday's match almost went the other way, though it would not have mattered, since the top three doubles teams in the tri-district go to state. Jolley and King went game-for-game with Saephan and Bozym in the first set, surprising their teammates after losing a lopsided match to them at the sub-district meet the week before. Bozym said when the match was knotted up in the first set, she and Saephan began to fight back.When it got really close, I said 'Okay, we can't lose,' she said.The road to that final match was more difficult for Jolley and King, who had to come back from a 0-4 deficit in the first set of a second-round match against a Vashon High School team. The Falcon pair rallied to win 7-5, 6-4.The pressure got to us, King said of the team's early stumble in the match.But none of these player's roads were as bumpy as the one freshman Jenny Newman took. A Number 3 singles player until late in the season, Newman made up for any lack of experience she may have had with gutsy play. She won her first-round match Friday 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 against a Steilacoom player, then lost in the second round 6-4, 1-6, 3-6. In the third round, Newman earned a new nickname from her coach Tom Kramer. After winning a 6-7 (8-10), 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) marathon, Kramer dubbed his youngest district player The Newmanator.Though she would go on to lose her fourth round match to the player she beat in the first round, Newman placed third in the tournament and earned a trip to state.The girls begin state play at 9:30 a.m. Friday at the Yakima Racquet Club. "

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