Evan Thompson / The Record — Langley City Councilwoman Dominique Emerson helped Harbor Square’s tennis team win a national championship on May 7 in Surprise, Ariz.

Langley city councilwoman wins national tennis championship with team

The look of pride was hard to miss on the face of Dominique Emerson as she stood outside Langley City Hall on Thursday afternoon. She has reason to be happy.

Emerson, a 66-year-old Langley city councilwoman, was part of the Shoreline-based Harbor Square tennis team that won a USTA national championship in the 65 and over division on May 7 in Surprise, Ariz. Harbor Square was broken up into four doubles teams; Emerson and her seven teammates went undefeated in round robin and bracket play to win the title.

They played through temperatures up to 115 degrees, 40-mph winds and start times of 6:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. due to the sweltering heat. Emerson was ecstatic about the national title.

“It’s just such a feeling of accomplishment to know you’ve worked hard for something and worked with a team,” Emerson said.

Emerson was paired with Mary Fox of Shoreline. They battled through point after point in the semifinals against a team from the Midwest while compensating for the wind that often manipulated the ball’s flight midair.

They eventually won 6-1, 6-4. Emerson, however, was forced to withdraw before the finals match due to migraines. She was replaced by another teammate who won the finals match with Fox.

“I just felt like I couldn’t risk it getting any worse while I was playing,” Emerson said.

Harbor Square was one of hundreds that competed in section tournaments across the country. Harbor Square beat out teams from the Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Wyoming to qualify for nationals. At the national championships, Harbor Square faced teams from all over the nation, including Florida, Texas, California, Ohio, New York and Massachusetts.

“There was tough competition,” Emerson said. “It was an incredibly grueling environment. We started at 6:30 (in the morning) and sometimes finished up at 11 at night.”

Emerson started playing tennis with her mother when she was 6. She played in high school, but then took a 20-year hiatus while earning her degrees and working. She played for a bit when she was 40 and went to nationals with another team, but came in fourth place. She then stopped playing again and thought her tennis days were over when she moved to Whidbey Island. But, she was with some friends on the island who were traveling to Edmonds to play tennis and eventually connected with the Harbor Square team.

Emerson considers herself to be a finesse player who can exploit vulnerable areas of the court to score points. She is not overly aggressive either.

“There are some people who are the closers and have no fear of taking the risk to hit strongly,” Emerson said. “I’m not that person.”

Emerson recommended the sport to people of all ages.

“Tennis is a great sport,” Emerson said. “It’s brought me a lifetime of pleasure and opportunities to meet people and be active.”

More in News

‘South Whidbey Backroads’ meeting Sunday at Bayview Hall

Learn about the lore behind the landscape

Shaking the family tree

Since the beginning of humankind, people have told stories of who they… Continue reading

Crumpled napkin discovered in shoe | Island Scanner

The following items were selected from reports made to the Island County… Continue reading

Djamming in Djangley

It all started with a desire to hear the sweet, melodic voice… Continue reading

Deputy shoots, kills attempted carjacker

A deputy with the Island County Sheriff’s Office shot and killed a… Continue reading

Clinton Hall overflows with voter interest

Candidates forum draws nearly 200 residents

Man facing prison for sexual assault

A former South Whidbey man faces a prison term for sexually assaulting… Continue reading

Nortier leaving Island Transit

Executive director deboarding bus system next month

Rapist sent to prison

An Oak Harbor woman who was chased by a man with a… Continue reading

Most Read