South Whidbey High School tennis ace Lindsey Newman won the 2A state tennis championship Saturday in Seattle for the second year in a row.
Newman beat arch-rival Erica Bosman from Lynden in three sets — 6-4, 3-6 and 6-3 — to finish with a season record of 23-1.
Newman’s only defeat of the season came earlier against Bosman.
Both girls had seemingly coasted to the final match with straight victories at the Nordstrom Tennis Center on the University of Washington campus.
“Erica had improved physically and, more important, mentally from last year’s final match,” said Falcon coach Tom Kramer.
“But Lindsey kept her off-balance, veering her shots and playing an outstanding game. She just went out and beat her,” he said.
Still, there were moments.
“She played confident in the first set but in the second Erica came roaring out ready to put Lindsey down,” the coach said. “Erica had the momentum in the second set, but in the third set it was two-all, and then things shifted Lindsey’s way. Erica missed a couple of key points.”
Though she’d been down this road before, Newman said winning the state crown didn’t really hit her until she was in the shower.
“It feels so good, especially after all the pressure I’ve put on myself this season,” Newman said. “I told Kramer I would not lose twice to her.”
At the Northwest district championships earlier this year at Sehome, Bosman had beaten Newman before a huge crowd clearly in Bosman’s corner.
The state championship was senior Bosman’s last chance to take the title.
In the final set on Saturday, Newman served last and the two opponents engaged in a series of volleys until Bosman’s ball hit the net and the match ended.
The rivalry — a total of eight games over the last three years with the tally
5-3 in Newman’s favor — didn’t end with the final point.
“I went to the net, shook hands and said ‘good game’ but she didn’t even look me in the eye,” Newman recalled.
In doubles action, Nichol Zalewski and Victoria Comfort won their first match, but then the weather intervened as it has all season.
“After winning their first match — they cruised to victory — the doubles team was leading 4-1 in the third set when there was a 30-minute rain delay,” Kramer said. “After that, the momentum shifted and the girls couldn’t recapture their edge. It was just one of those things.”
Overall, the South Whidbey girls team placed third of 19 schools with 12 points, behind Lynden with 19 points and Ellensburg with 13, on the strength of Newman’s victory and points earned by Comfort and Zalewski.
The luck of the draw found Falcon freshman Riley Newman, Lindsey’s brother, facing eventual state boys champion Richard Muszynski of Clarkston in the first round.
Newman lost 5-7, 6-4 and 6-3 but won the rest and placed fourth overall after a 6-2, 6-1 consolation victory over Washington’s Ryo Hirasawa.
“Riley was wound up tighter than a drum at the start and won the first set,” Kramer said. “He calmed down but Muszynski was very good; the match went almost three hours — it just went on and on.”
Kramer said Newman gave a good account of himself and actually had improved his game since the boys season ended in November.
“He played that kid ball for ball and his consistency got better over the two days,” Kramer said.
Newman admitted he was nervous.
“I was mad at myself because I almost beat him,” he said. “I learned there’s a big difference between watching my sister play at this level and playing myself.”
Both siblings are expected to be back next year for the Falcons.