Doubles duos face off for playoffs

Bayley Gochanour forehands a shot back across the net against King’s in the a doubles match during the 1A District 1 girls tennis tournament semifinals May 14 at South Whidbey High School.

Only one set was lost by South Whidbey girls tennis doubles teams in the first round of the 1A District 1 tournament Thursday.

Both tandems of Isla Dubendorf and Bayley Gochanour and Clara Martin and Iona Rohan edged their King’s counterparts in straight sets, setting up the intrasquad showdown.

Dubendorf and Gochanour rode the momentum built in their 6-0, 6-0 sweep of King’s. Facing their teammates, the top doubles squad won 6-1, 6-3, and are South Whidbey’s only representatives moving to the bi-district tournament that begins May 21 in Seattle.

In an email, Falcon head coach Karyle Kramer said she reflected on Dubendorf playing in her final home match as a senior. A couple dozen students were released from class to watch the meet, which began at 11 a.m.

“Our doubles teams played well against each other; playing in front of a large crowd of students was an exciting way to finish,” Kramer said in the email.

On the singles side of the tournament, Falcon senior Carlie Newman fell to King’s Susan Su in straight sets 6-2, 6-4.

Kramer said once Newman fell behind a few games in the first set, it was a mental hole from which she could not escape.

“Mentally it’s hard to dig out of that situation,” Kramer said. “That’s pressure in itself.”

It was a reversal of fortunes for them, as Newman had previously defeated Su in three sets in the Falcon’s first match this year.

Newman was ineligible for much of the season after transferring from Cascade High School in Everett at the start of the school year. She appealed the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association ruling and won eligibility in time for a handful of matches before Thursday’s tournament.

She started with a first-round bye and quickly defeated Audri Halkett 6-1, 6-0.

South Whidbey’s second-seeded singles player, Kendra Warwick, lost in the first round to Nooksack Valley’s Abby Steele 6-3, 6-1.

“Kendra improved a lot over the season and I’m already excited for her next season,” Kramer said.