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

Man who burned down two homes pleads guilty to lesser charge

A man who started a fire that burned down two homes on… Continue reading

Historical society to lead presentation about Gabelein family history

Pick up a local phone book. Thumb to the page with the… Continue reading

Van driver accused of ramming pickup truck

The driver of a van is accused of chasing down a car… Continue reading

South End getting first drug treatment center

Freeland will soon be home to the first medicaid-funded substance use disorder… Continue reading

Langley man airlifted after rollover crash

A Langley resident was airlifted for treatment after rolling his 1995 Ford… Continue reading

Knox Shannon, 8, looks out the window of his new bedroom in the house built by Habitat for Humanity. Island County is set to implement fee changes that would result in savings for the organization, and other developers, in the plan review stage of receiving building permits. Photo by Patricia Guthrie/ Whidbey News-Times
New building permit fees should reduce costs in county

The Board of Island County Commissioners is set to vote on building… Continue reading

Laura Guido/Whidbey News Group
                                The Kettles trails were acquired by Island County in 1996 using funds from the conservation futures program. The county is now accepting applications for the 2018 award cycle, but a low fund balance may limit the acceptance of new projects.
No guarantees for awarding of conservation futures funds

The Island County Conservation Futures Program is now accepting applications from eligible… Continue reading

No injuries in pair of crashes

Two car crashes on Wednesday in Clinton did not result in any… Continue reading

Firefighter stops chicken coop fire, helps save Langley home

A quick response by a local firefighter may have helped save a… Continue reading

Most Read