Two South Whidbey High School entries in the bi-district tennis tournament were eliminated in the first round Wednesday, May 15, at the Redmond Tennis Center.
The Falcons’ third entry, district doubles champions Mary Zisette and Alison Papritz, had a bye in the loser-out first round and begin bi-district play at 9 a.m. Friday.
The Falcon pair, which finished second in the state last year, will need to lose two-straight bi-district matches not to qualify for the state tournament.
The 1B/2B/1A state championships are Friday and Saturday, May 24 and 25, at the Yakima Tennis Club.
The bi-district tournament started Tuesday at the Overlake School, but most of the matches were rained out, including those involving South Whidbey players.
The following day, Ashley Ricketts dropped her singles match 6-0, 6-1
“Ashley played a tough hitter from Overlake,” coach Karyle Kramer said.
Rickett’s opponent used a dominant backhand to win the match, according to Kramer.
“Ashley tried to keep it away from her backhand but she was just too experienced,” Kramer added. “Great season, though. (Ashley displayed) steady improvement and got great experience at first singles.”
Kramer noted that Ricketts picked up victories from the top singles players from University Prep, King’s, Coupeville, Granite Falls and Friday Harbor.
In the other bi-district match, Farriss Jokinen and Ainsley Nelson fell to Audrey Anderson and Lindsey Walters of University Prep 6-2, 6-2.
Anderson and Walters will advance to play Zisette and Papritz Friday.
“Farriss and Ainsley lost to the same team earlier this year but came out with a strong mental attitude and fought from the beginning,” Kramer said. “They were poised, confident and played well – U-Prep just had a stronger showing.”
Jokinen and Nelson, affectionately called “Team Fainsley,” according to Kramer, qualified for bi-district by beating a duo from Granite Falls that defeated the Falcons earlier in the season.
“In that must-win match, they played their best overall match, physically and mentally, to win 6-4 in the third set,” Kramer said. “They ended their season strong and with class – pretty much how they played all four years, and most of that time together as a doubles team.”