Sports

Falcon girls tennis team splits road matches with Owls, Red Raiders

Jessica Cary returns a backhand during an earlier match against Overlake at South Whidbey High School. The senior and her first doubles partner Amelia Weeks won both road matches last week.  - Ben Watanabe / Record file
Jessica Cary returns a backhand during an earlier match against Overlake at South Whidbey High School. The senior and her first doubles partner Amelia Weeks won both road matches last week.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / Record file

The South Whidbey girls tennis team traveled south and north last week to split matches against Overlake and Bellingham. The Falcons (8-2 overall) fanned the Owls 7-0 on April 18, then fell to the Red Raiders 4-3 on April 20. Since returning from spring break, the Falcons have lost two matches, the other to the Granite Falls Tigers 4-3 on April 13 (Freaky Friday, maybe) despite defeating them 6-1 in March.

“The girls played improved tennis both matches. We are right where we want to be at this point in the season,” said Falcon head coach Karyle Kramer.

Against the undefeated Red Raiders on Friday, the Falcons were anchored by the first- and second-singles sisters Hayley Newman and Carlie Newman. Hayley, a junior, won a two-and-a-half-hour marathon match against Bella Hoyos 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. The win was significant to the Falcons’ head coach, as Newman prepares for the district and the state tournaments in May. Newman has yet to lose a match at 9-0 this season.

“This was a defining win for Hayley. Hoyos is the defending two-time doubles 2A state champion and a solid singles player in our district,” Kramer said. “Hayley showed patience and strategic smarts out there. She wanted the win and never gave up, especially after losing a close first set.”

Carlie, a freshman, beat Rose Hopper in three sets 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 in a match that lasted longer than two hours. Hopper typically plays on the Red Raiders’ first doubles team, Kramer said. The younger Newman is also undefeated this year, with a 10-0 record in various doubles pairings and at second singles.

South Whidbey’s top doubles team of Jessica Cary and Amelia Weeks beat Tess Owen and Cari Pearsall 6-4, 7-5.

A reworked South Whidbey lineup dropped the third and fourth singles matches, as well as second and third doubles.

Earlier in the week, the Falcons cruised past the Overlake Owls 7-0. South Whidbey’s singles matches were decided in straight sets, including the recently repositioned Lucy Rock and Sophie Nilsen. Rock won 6-4, 6-3 against Elaine Kissel, and Nilsen beat Emily Daly 7-5, 6-1 in her first varsity singles match. Nilsen replaced senior Tessa Chiarizio, who was sidelined with a foot injury.

“Both Rock and Nilsen played really consistent singles and showed great persistence and determination on the court,” Kramer said.

The Newman sisters won handily, with Hayley defeating Catalina Otero 6-0, 6-2 and Carlie beating Caroline Lauer 6-3, 6-1.

South Whidbey’s top two doubles teams were pushed to third set tiebreakers. Cary and Weeks battled for a third set tiebreaker after splitting the first two sets in tiebreakers. The Falcons’ first doubles squad won 6-7 (4-6), 7-6 (7-3), 10-7. At second doubles, Kalie Stayskal and Tess Radisch defeated Claire Bond and Julia Robbins 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 10-4.

The Falcons’ third doubles team of Katrina Layton and Claire Hofius defeated Madeline Klineman and Tammy Eydelman 6-2, 6-2.

This week, South Whidbey travels to Friday Harbor on Wednesday and hosts Bellingham in a rematch for Senior Day on Friday. The Falcons have seven seniors on the roster, including Cary, Chiarizio, Hofius, Stayskal, Judith Jaeger, Carol Jenkinson and Elisa Pisana. The final home match is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.

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