Connor Garnett and Daniel Park were hitting the ball with such force that they littered the court at Tri-City Court Club with yellow neon fuzz.
Garnett, from Interlake, outlasted Lakeside’s Park 6-2, 6-4 in a dandy of a championship match for the boys 3A state singles title Saturday.
“This was such a great match,” said Garnett, who won his second consecutive 3A title to go along with his 2A title as a freshman. “Every point was such a grind.”
Park, who was fourth last year as a freshman, finished the season 26-2 — with both losses to Garnett.
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“I really tried to do my best,” Park said. “I think I played pretty well. It’s disappointing that my body let me down. Cramping up was such a disappointment.”
After Garnett won the first match 6-2, including Game 6 where he broke Park’s serve in a rally that went to deuce five times, Park took the first two games of the second set.
Garnett came back to tie the set at 3-3 before serving for a 4-3 lead. Park broke Garnett’s serve to pull within 5-4, and after the game, crumpled to the ground with leg cramps.
After a short break, the match resumed, but Park didn’t have the same spring in his step.
Serving to stay in the match, Park led 40-30, but Garnett forced deuce and won the match.
“It’s kind of sad when you come all this way and you are having such a great match,” Garnett said of Park cramping up. “The match loses its competitive edge.”
But it was a great match nonetheless.
“The first set was more about getting into the match,” Garnett said. “The second match was tight and I thought I had to go for broke when he was up a break.”
Matt Seifert of Mercer Island won his second consecutive doubles title, this year teaming up with Ben Elliot to beat teammates Brian Hou and Charlie Williams 6-3, 6-4. The Islanders won the team title with 29 points.
After playing second fiddle to Nora Tan of Mercer Island last year, Catherine Allen of Holy Names finally got her hands on state gold with a 6-1-6-1 victory over Lakeside freshman Viv Daniel.
“This so nice. I wanted it a lot this year,” said Allen, who topped teammate Cello Lockwood 6-1, 6-1 to reach the finals. “She is good for a freshman. She started out strong her first year. She is better than I was at that age.”
Allen, a junior, lost just eight games in four match over the weekend. She finished the season 22-0 and helped the Cougars to a second-place finish in the team race with 14 points.
“I think as I played more matches, my strokes became stronger,” she said. “I tried to put a gap between me and the rest of the field from the start.”
Daniel finished the season 22-5. All five of her losses were to Allen — two during the regular season, one at district, one at regionals and Saturday’s title match.
Mercer Island, which won its sixth consecutive team title with 24 points, stockpiled points with its three girls doubles teams — they had no singles players qualify for state.
Twins Gabrielle and Lydia Vanditti defended their state title, beating teammates Caroline Dillion and Caroline Hamilton, 6-1, 6-2.
The Islanders’ third doubles team of Miji Shuh and Jamie Mounger finished seventh, losing the fourth/seventh match 6-2, 7-5 to Megan Bastian and Rachael DeCaires of Eastside Catholic.
Jason Lui of Newport defeated Jack Suh of Issaquah 6-4, 6-2 for the boys singles title, helping the Grizzlies to their third consecutive team title with 34 points, nearly three times as many as second-place Olympia (12).
Lewis & Clark’s Luke Brittan and Jordan Strandness picked up a double titles, beating Newport’s Matt Sham and Austin Gu 6-2, 6-1.
Sammi Hampton of Skyview topped Sabrina Demerath of Inglemoor 6-1, 6-0 for her third consecutive girls singles title.
In doubles, Jen Lewis and Hannah Gianan of Camas defeated Jelena Vidovic and Sydney Wallace of Union 6-1, 7-6. Camas finished second in the team standings with 16 points, one back of champion Garfield.