When Zach Fisher and Travis Zuroske are on the same page, good things happen.
The Richland duo, which won the 4A District 5 regional last weekend, is set to play its first match the 4A state tournament at 8:30 a.m. today at Richland High School.
“If we play good and play up to our potential, we can do well and should have a really good shot,” Fisher said. “If I’m getting my serve in, it’s a strong serve. Travis is good at the net and I like to stay back and hit ground strokes.”
“I felt that I had a good shot playing singles, but Zach and I are a strong team,” he said. “We have a good shot to make a deep run in the tournament. We each have our own roles that make us a strong team.”
Fisher and Zuroske will open play against Andrew Bagherpour and Jacob Buckley from Union, who went 1-2 at state last year. This year, they come in as the Greater St. Helens League champion.
“There is more depth over there (west side) with more guys playing tennis,” Fisher said. “We both play all year-round, but they have more competition and stronger competition.”
Last year, Fisher and Brett Meyer finished seventh in doubles, while Zuroske was 1-2 in singles.
This season, Fisher and Zuroske played singles during the regular season, with Zuroske at No. 1 and Fisher at No. 2, but they felt if they combined forces they would have a better shot at placing.
At regionals last week, they dropped the first set in the finals before beating Luke Brittan and Jordan Strandness of Lewis & Clark 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
“My serve wasn’t going so well in the first set,” Fisher said. “When we started clicking, we were going in the right direction.”
Joining Fisher and Zuroske at state is sophomore Trent Prussing in singles.
Prussing finished second at regionals, dropping the championship match to Oregon-bound Alex Marcinkowski of Gonzaga Prep 6-1, 6-0 before rebounding to earn the second seed with a 6-1, 7-5 win over Tyler Wilson of Lewis & Clark.
“I set a goal to make it state this year,” said Prussing, who also is a budding basketball player for the Bombers. “It’s nice to see all the hard work I have put in finally pay off.”
Prussing opens play at 10 a.m. Friday at Hanford High School against Stadium freshman Callan Peterson.
The winner of the match likely gets defending state champion Mitch Stewart of Federal Way in the quarterfinals.
“Realistically, if I win my first match, I will lose to Mitch,” Prussing said. “I have never played anyone of his level.”
Playing basketball has given Prussing an edge over opponents — he is in shape to start the season and he keeps building from there.
“I try to make sure I can outlast my opponent in points,” Prussing said. “I’ve always been in pretty good shape, and I can last longer in a rally. I’m fine playing a three-setter.”
The Richland players get a bonus this weekend, playing at home and sleeping in their own beds.
“It’s great playing at home and in front of friends and family,” Fisher said. “It’s always very relaxing playing at home.”
4A girlsIn singles, Sammi Hampton of Skyview is back to defend her crown, but the doubles title is up for grabs with the defending state champions and runners-up gone.
Walla Walla’s Allison Mehn and Rachel Schueller are throwing their hat in the ring. They start play Friday against Kristina Metz and Macy Ballew of Skyview.
3A boysThe doubles portion of the tournament will have a new look with the two-time defending champion Thorp brothers of Kennedy out of the bracket.
Bad news for the guys in the singles bracket — junior Jamie Thorp has moved in.
“It has been a pretty good year,” Thorp said. “I’m excited to play and see what happens.”
Thorp played two years with his brother Mitch (now at UC Davis), winning two state titles and going undefeated.
“It was fun to play with my brother, we learned a lot about each other,” Thorp said. “I’m comfortable playing singles. I’m more of a defensive player. I do miss playing doubles with him, it was fun.”
Just like with his brother, Thorp is undefeated in singles this season, though he couldn’t remember his record.
“I’ve never lost in high school,” he said. “I did go three sets with Joe (Kwiatkowski, from Lindbergh) this year. He’s in the 2A tournament.”
The Seamount League plays tennis in the fall, but Thorp plays all year-round, which doesn’t bode well for the rest of the competition.
“Bad thing about tennis is there is no offseason,” Thorp said. “It’s a little weird. I get in the high school tennis mode, then you have to wait a few months and get back into it. This is just like another tournament for me.
“There are a lot of good players, and players I know from USTA tournaments. I just have to be on my toes. Anything can happen. I just have to be ready for the unexpected.”
Kennewick’s Chad McKenzie and Jared Bolt are newcomers to the state tournament and will try their hand at singles this weekend.
Both are in the same side of the bracket — though they wouldn’t meet unless they both made it to the semifinals — and on the opposite side than Thorp.
McKenzie, who won district and regional titles, will open against Brian Hou from Mercer Island (6th last year), while Bolt will take on Peter Koessler of Wilson (7th last year).
In doubles, last year’s runners-up, Matt Alderson and Jacob Christensen of Bainbridge, who lost to the Thorps 7-5, 6-4 in the finals, are the pre-tournament favorites.
Hanford’s Shane Sandlin and Kevin Sands, along with Kamiakin’s Ben Welch and Matt Inman, are in the same half of the bracket as Alderson and Christensen. Hanford’s Quinten Dicken and Darko Stankovic are in the other half.
3A girlsHanford senior Sierra Troxel is one of the favorites for the singles title, along with Catherine Allen of Holy Names and defending champion Nora Tan of Mercer Island.
Troxel, who has one loss this season, will open play against Isabelle Long of Interlake, who lost to Tan 6-0, 6-0 in the finals of the KingCo 3A tournament.
Tan, 16, who will attend Stanford in the fall, then dropped a 6-3, 6-1 match to Allen in the district finals last week.
“Nora is hoping to have a shot to defend,” Mercer Island coach Mindy Blakeslee said. “Catherine played really well and Nora was a little off. I think she’s excited to play her again.”
Mercer Island is in the hunt for its fifth consecutive team title, and with Tan and two doubles teams, it’s a possibility.
“North Thurston is the only other team with three entries,” Blakeslee said. “Every player is crucial. There are no easy roads. We are humble and we know we have work to do. It’s never easy.”
Troxel is in the opposite side of the bracket than Tan but in the same side as Allen.
Last year, Tan beat Troxel in the semifinals, while Troxel beat Allen for third place.
Kennewick’s Stephanie Buckingham, who was seventh last year, will open against Sidney Smith of North Thurston and could meet Tan in the quarterfinals.
In doubles, Southridge has a pair of teams, including Sarah Morgan and Sofia Morrison, who are 20-0 this season.
Morgan and Morrison, who finished fifth last year, play junior Caroline Dillon and freshman Caroline Hamilton of Mercer Island in their first match. The Suns have a chance of playing Mercer Island’s identical twin sisters Lydia and Gabrielle Venditti in the semifinals.
Bailee Sanderson and Shyler Sullivan, the Suns’ second doubles team, will play Milla Benedetti and Emma Ravio of Mountain in the first round.
Richland High, Hanford High and Columbia Basin Racquet Club
Boys singles (10 a.m., Hanford) — Oscar Burney (Garfield) vs. Alex Chan (Thomas Jefferson); Alex Lewis (Federal Way) vs. Ben Mietzner (Jackson); Callan Peterson (Stadium) vs. Trent Prussing (Richland); Nate Billett (Woodinville) vs. Mitch Stewart (Federal Way); Aaron Park (Stadium) vs. Aman Manji (Skyline); Derek Welch (Kentlake) vs. Lucas Tilly (Wenatchee); Patrick Chung (Cascade) vs. John Stormans (Olympia); Alex Lee (Thomas Jefferson) vs. Alex Marcinkowski (Gonzaga Prep).
Boys Doubles (8:30 a.m., Richland) — David An-Alex Namba (Newport) vs. Nate Stahley-Chad Wooten (Olympia); Will Berghoff-Kyle Wooten (Olympia) vs. Peter Cung-Grant Follis (Jackson); Aadil Diwan-Randy Huynh (Kentridge) vs. Luke Brittan-Jordan Strandness (Lewis & Clark); Alex Wu-Brayden Hansen (Skyline) vs. Zach Martin-Carmeron Martin (Thomas Jefferson); Kyle Jiganti-Bjorn Brynestad (Gig Harbor) vs. Dylan Harlow-Matt Sham (Newport); Adam Lundquist-Dane Anderson (Curtis) vs. Sohail Qazi-Nathaniel Noyd (Wenatchee); Everet Wang-James Okubo (Jackson) vs. Chase Hassig-Henry Wurst (Bellermine Prep); Andrew Bagherpour-Jacob Buckley (Union) vs. Travis Zuroske-Zach Fisher (Richland).
Girls Singles (8:30 a.m., Hanford) — Sabrina Demerath (Inglemoor) vs. Kailyn Skjonsby (South Kitsap); Maddie Turek (Tahoma) vs. Sally Park (Kamiak); Lauren Thornquist (Auburn) vs. Mackenzie Draper (Mead); Janae Chinn (Inglemoor) vs. Sammi Hampton (Skyview); Sydney Wallace (Union) vs. Angela Chen (Newport); Megan Hagerty (Graham Kapowsin) vs. Claire Bohoskey (Eisenhower); Myint-Zu Kyaw (Edmonds-Woodway) vs. Jelena Vidovic (Union); Kristina Stevanovic (Mount Rainier) vs. Micca Motzer (Mead).
Girls Doubles (10 a.m., Richland) — Sam Garrard-Kelsey Wilson (Issaquah) vs. Cindy Park-Crystal Lee (Thomas Jefferson); Kennedy Takehara-Lucy Meske (Bellermine Prep) vs. Zoe Jovanovich-Elizabeth Norris (Kamiak); Kristina Metz-Macy Ballew (Skyview) vs. Allison Mehn-Rachel Schueller (Walla Walla); Erin Huffman-Megan Huffman (Lake Stevens) vs. Esther Kwon-Jen Lewis (Camas); Jenny Hoefel-Kiele Bowman (Todd Beamer) vs. Fiona Cerf-Alexia Fife (Garfield); Rachel Kelson-Catty Zhang (Olympia) vs. Erica DeMond-Megumi DeMond (Davis); Monica Kwong-Cristina Borsan (Lynnwood) vs. Kyana Esber-Katie Ly (Kentridge); Alli Bastista-Gemma Robinson (Olympia) vs. Dana Norris-Heather Birge (Mead).
Kamiakin High and Tri-City Court Club
Boys Singles (8:30 a.m., Tri-City Court Club) — Jared Bolt (Kennewick) vs. Peter Koessler (Wilson); Dominik Gorecki (Columbia River) vs. Connor Garnett (Interlake); Jonathan Wolf (Stanwood) vs. Janrick Peros (Mt. Tahoma); Brian Hou (Merer Island) vs. Chad McKenzie (Kennewick); Jordan Richardson (Lakes) vs. Austin Carlen (Mt. Spokane); Luat Le (Interlake) vs. Nick Ekern (Meadowdale); Patrick Luangrath (Glacier Peak) vs. Daniel Park (Lakeside); Henry Smith (Mercer Island) vs. Jamie Thorp (Kennedy).
Boys Doubles (10 a.m., Kamiakin) — Ben Welch-Matt Iman (Kamiakin) vs. Tyler Sparling-Marcus Kwon (Mountain View); Jooneil Ahn-Scott Vannerson (North Thurston) vs. Matt Alderson-Jacob Christensen (Bainbridge); Chris Sato-Nick North (Shorecrest) vs. Trevor Jones-Colton Reed (Mountain View); Sam Blattner-Luke Targett (Seattle Prep) vs. Shane Sandlin-Kevin Sands (Hanford); Christian Lewis-Hayden Skidmoor (Penninsula) vs. Quinten Dicken-Darko Stankovic (Hanford); Keet Curtis-Ben Devries (Bainbridge) vs. Carmeron McDowell-Stuart Schachle (Shorewood); Evan Saunders-Nichaant Limaue (Shorecrest) vs. Kyle Baska-Matt Seifert (Mercer Island); Ben Elliot-Chrlie Williams (Mercer Island) vs. Vince Viloria-Taas Sribhibhadh (Kennedy).
Girls Singles (10 a.m., TCCC) — Jenny Sui (Shorecrest) vs. Akari Baba (Prairie); Shanelle Enlow (North Thurston) vs. Catherine Allen (Holy Names); Cello Lockwood (Holy Names) vs. Ainsley Winterrowd (North Thurston); Isabelle Long (Interlake) vs. Sierra Troxel (Hanford); Meera Limaye (Shorecrest) vs. Nora Tan (Mercer Island); Sidney Smith (North Thurston) vs. Stephanie Buckingham (Kennewick); Lisa Karnofski (Kelso) vs. Nadean Sl-Ali (Glacier Peak); Shea Wojciehowski (Lakeside) vs. Allie Barry (Peninsula).
Girls Doubles (8:30 a.m., Kamiakin) — Danielle Brengelmann-Francesca O’Malley (Shorewood) vs. Hannah Smith-Rachel Norling (Enumclaw); Sarah Case-Camille Mitchell (Columbia River) vs. Lydia Venditti-Gabrielle Venditti (Mercer Island); Catherine Foster-Maddy Scheer (Seattle Prep) vs. Alex Wilmingham-Ashley Osler (Columbia River); Caroline Dillion-Caroline Hamilton (Mercer Island) vs. Sarah Morgan-Sofia Morrison (Southridge); Christine Wolf-Rachel Rich (Stanwood) vs. Jenny Adams-Kristy Braunston (Liberty); Milla Benedetti-Emma Ravio (Mountain View) vs. Bailee Sanderson-Shyler Sullivan (Southridge); Kayla Zillbauer-Camille Clare (Enumclaw) vs. Nicki Bouche-Tina Liu (Mountlake Terrace); Amanda Lacayo-Katie Lacayo (West Seattle) vs. Lilly Le-Miriam Cabrera (Lincoln).
Yakima Tennis Center
Boys doubles — Kade Turner-Eirc Glasgow (Kiona-Benton) vs. Jeremy Davis-Gilbert Murillo (Entiat).
Girls singles — Megan Elliott (Kiona-Benton) vs. Michele Lui (Forest Ridge). Doubles — Jaky Calzadillas-Momo Calzadillas (Kiona-Benton) vs. Madeline Ferry-Mika Inadomi (University Prep).