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District win sends netters to state
By Saturday, Tom Kramer hopes to be sitting in the sun and watching tennis with little care about who wins or loses.
If he is, it will be a repeat of Saturday's Northwest District 2A doubles final in Federal Way, which was an all-Falcon event. After breezing through the preliminary rounds, save one 6-3, 7-5 match against a Hoquiam team, South Whidbey's Paige Oliver and Jenny Newman faced off against senior teammates Jenny Saephan and Kylie Bozym for the district championship. Saephan and Bozym, state champions in 2001, won 6-1, 6-3, but both teams are headed to Yakima this weekend to see if they can pick up another 1-2 finish and, perhaps, the team's second state championship in three years.
And they might, Kramer said, if they stick to the plan.
"We want to keep playing ourselves in the finals," he said.
Doubles teams from Montesano, Steilicoom and Hoquiam put up little resistance in the tournament. But that probably won't be the story in Yakima. Oliver said in addition to good weather, she and her partner need only one other thing to make it to a final with their teammates.
"Gotta relax," said the Falcon senior.
In singles play, senior Molly Fox almost earned a spot at state. Against Vashon's Alex Childs in a first-round match, Fox played to match point in a third-set tie-breaker. But Childs, the state's top-ranked 2A player, came back to win 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (8-6).
A second loss against a Blaine opponent in a 4-6, 6-2, 4-6 match then ended Fox's season.
Kramer said he believes his doubles teams are good enough to monopolize the top two spots in Yakima. If they do, it will be an improvement over last year, when Saephan and Newman won at doubles and Oliver placed fourth with partner Kaitlin King. Newman, a sophomore, goes to the meet with state experience, having played in the singles pool in 2001.