Sports

Newman earns trip back to state in tennis

Riley Newman stands with his coaches Sandy McKenzie and Tom Kramer and after winning the 2A District 1 tennis championship in Bellingham on Saturday. -
Riley Newman stands with his coaches Sandy McKenzie and Tom Kramer and after winning the 2A District 1 tennis championship in Bellingham on Saturday.
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Riley Newman earned a return trip to the state 2A Boys Tennis Championships next May with a victory over Sehome’s Will Topp in the Northwest District tennis tournament on Saturday.

Newman won 6-3, 6-4 in the latest rematch with Topp. The two squared off in the state finals earlier this year, with Newman taking the state 2A crown, but Topp beat the reigning champ in September during conference play.

Topp was the number-one seed in the tournament; Newman, the second. Both will advance to the state championships.

“Each time they play, you can see the games of both young people have evolved. They are getting bigger, stronger, faster,” said Falcon coach Tom Kramer.

The work Newman put into his serve paid off, Kramer said.

“Riley lost the first game of his first set, and that was as far as he got behind. From that point on, he was even or ahead,” he said.

“I think Riley was prepared mentally for this match. And he served better Saturday than he had at state,” Kramer said. “Will was better in some spots, too. But Riley, he just had Will’s number on Saturday.”

Newman advanced to the tournament finals by besting J.J. Small of Burlington-Edison 6-0, 6-0 in the first round, then defeating Will VanderVeen of Lynden 6-0, 6-0 in the quarterfinals.

Newman then beat third-seeded Evan Madill of Sehome 6-0, 6-3 in the semifinals to advance to the rematch against Topp.

Combined with other Falcon wins, the South Whidbey team placed second overall in the tournament.

South Whidbey’s Brendan Riley won 6-0, 6-2 against Kurtis Reardon of Lynden in play-in matches. He fell to Topp in the first round, 6-0, 6-0.

Falcon Van Morgan defeated Josh Crowe of Bellingham 6-0, 6-0 in the first round, then beat Ethan McKell of Bellingham 6-4, 6-3 in the quarterfinals.

Morgan faced Topp in the semifinals, and fell to Topp 6-0, 6-1.

“In all fairness to both players, the sets were actually closer than they sound because a lot of the games went to deuce,” Kramer said.

In the consolation round, Morgan won 6-2, 7-6, then fell in the third-place-to-state match Saturday, when Madill prevailed over him with a 6-1, 6-4 win.

It was a tough finish for Morgan, who had only one loss this season and then came up against the top two players at district. He finished fourth in the tourney.

“Van did a heck of a job this year,” Kramer said. “He’s come into his own as a player.”

In doubles play, Jonah Jolley and Erik Vanderbilt-Matthews beat the duo of Corey Campbell and Chris Archer of Anacortes 7-5, 6-1 in play-in matches.

Zach Comfort and Harrison Price also won, going 6-2, 6-4 against Andrew Clarke and Reilly Kintzele of Bellingham. South Whidbey’s Guy Sparkman and Malcom Donohoe fell to Payton Weidenbacher and Jake Davis of Sehome 6-1, 6-0.

In the first round, Jolley and Vanderbilt-Matthews were defeated by Sehome’s Matt Goebel and Myles West 6-1, 6-0.

William Giller and Bjorn Thorpe of Sehome then won 6-2, 6-1 over Comfort and Price of South Whidbey.

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