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Falcon tennis takes three to state tournament
Being at the top had its advantages for South Whidbey’s girls tennis team last week.
Falcon singles player Hayley Newman, a senior, and doubles team Amelia Weeks and Tess Radisch, both juniors, qualified for the state 1A tennis tournament. The Falcons will compete May 24-25 at the Yakima Tennis Center as the third seeds from the region.
For Newman, the state tournament came at the elimination of her sister, Carlie Newman, a sophomore and South Whidbey’s No. 2 singles player. The older Newman won 6-3, 6-4 in the elimination match Friday, May 17, bumping Carlie from the tournament and a shot at state, which Hayley has competed in every year.
"Honestly, I felt kind of bad," said Hayley Newman. "This whole season we were talking about how fun it would be to go. If she was playing anyone else, she would have won and gone to state."
"After I beat her in the tri she made some comments to me like, 'Hayley, be quiet. I let you win.'"
Hayley Newman advanced to the state tournament by defeating Forest Ridge’s Chai, 6-2, 6-3 on Saturday, May 18. It was the second time in the tri-district round Newman beat Chai. Newman won the first bout, 6-2, 6-4.
In the second round, Newman was blanked by Annie Wright’s Samantha Weeks, 6-0, 6-0 — the first time the Falcons’ top singles player was ever shut out this season.
"I knew I had a rough, challenging road ahead of me," Newman said.
Carlie Newman fought her way through the consolation bracket after losing 6-0, 6-0 to Forest Ridge’s Michele Lui in the first round. She rebounded in her second match with a quick win against Vashon Island’s Zaknich, 6-1, 6-0. That set up the sister showdown that bounced Carlie from the tournament and sent Hayley on to the state qualifier.
South Whidbey’s doubles team earned its state berth the hard way. Weeks and Radisch played three sets in three of their four matches, only their state qualifier was decided in straight sets. The Falcon pair played from the consolation bracket after the first round where University Prep’s Madeline Ferry and Mika Inadomi won 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.
Another loss and the Falcons were eliminated. Facing Forest Ridge’s duo of Anderson and Cero, the Falcons dropped the first set 3-6 and trailed in the second 3-5. With their playoff season at stake, Weeks and Radisch rallied to a second-set tiebreaker, which they won 7-6 (7-4). In the third set, South Whidbey’s doubles team again found itself down 3-5, and again the Falcons came from behind and won, 7-5.
They went on to defeat Forest Ridge’s Nicholson and Parsons, 6-1, 7-5. On the tournament’s second day, Weeks and Radisch beat Charles Wright Academy’s Stacy and Kelly, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. The Falcons trailed 1-4 in the first set and recovered well enough to force a 12-game set. Momentum continued to sway South Whidbey’s way in the final sets as Weeks and Radisch punched their tickets to the state tournament.
Weeks and Radisch face Lind-Ritzville-Sprague’s Kelly Melville and Alanna Wheeler and Newman takes on St. George’s Darby Pierce in the first round of the state tournament.