Chasing district tournament seeding with only two matches left, South Whidbey girls tennis dropped only its second match of the season with a 6-1 road loss to Bellingham.
The Falcons rebounded on their last match with a 4-1 win over Seattle Academy on Friday. South Whidbey finished 12-2 this season, including six matches against 2A and 3A teams.
Against the fellow 1A Seattle Academy, South Whidbey dropped the second doubles match. Every bout was decided in straight sets in a quick match.
Falcon senior Hayley Newman defeated Seattle’s Kelsey Walter, 6-2, 6-1 in the top singles match. At second singles, Carlie Newman beat Nadio Jamrozik, 6-1, 6-0.
South Whidbey’s top doubles team, Tess Radisch and Amelia Weeks, returned to form with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Kelsey Malone and Sophie True. In the second doubles match, Seattle’s Elsa Smith and Margaret Garrison bested Falcons Hannah Calderwood and Isla Dubendorf, 6-2, 6-4.
At third doubles, Colleen Groce and Katrina Layton shored up the Falcons’ win by defeating Seattle’s Allie DePascuale and Bella Feinstein, 6-2, 6-1.
In earlier action last week, South Whidbey lost to 2A powerhouse Bellingham on the road. Hayley Newman suffered one of her first defeats of the year against the Red Raiders’ top singles player. Bellingham’s Bella Hoyos won 7-5, 6-2.
Newman’s sister Carlie, a sophomore, was able to secure the only Falcon victory. She defeated Bellingham’s Kira Vazorka 6-2, 6-2 in what coach Karyle Kramer called Newman’s “best win of the season.”
Playing up a classification, South Whidbey fielded two additional singles players than count toward 1A team scores. Breanna Gauger lost to Bellingham’s Kara Burns, 6-2, 6-0. At fourth singles, Layton lost to Mariah Miller, 6-0, 6-0.
Bellingham’s Kate Troutman and Catie Welch beat Radisch and Weeks 4-6, 6-2, 6-1. The match was almost a quick affair, but the Falcons rallied from a 1-4 deficit in the first set to force a full match.
“After that Bellingham got extremely aggressive, poaching at the net and ultimately controlling the net,” Kramer said. “We did not adjust accordingly, but instead kept hitting balls that the opponents could put away.”
Groce and Dubendorf lost to Bellingham’s Cari Pearsall and Tess Owens 6-0, 6-1. At the final doubles spot, Calderwood and Read lost to Olivia Guiles and Leah Nichols, 6-1, 6-3.
South Whidbey hosts the 1A District 1 tournament, starting at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 9. The Newmans will represent the Falcons in the singles division, Weeks and Radisch own the top doubles seed. The second doubles team from South Whidbey is Dubendorf and Calderwood.
From District 1 the top two singles players and two doubles teams advance to the tri-district tournament at Amy Yee Tennis Center in Seattle on May 17. The state 1A tennis tournament will be at the Yakima Tennis Club on May 24-25.