Maggie Fiocchi enjoyed a few days at the Oregon Coast after school let out last week.
A much deserved break for the Kennewick sophomore who ran the table during the Mid-Columbia Conference tennis season, won district and regional titles and went 1-2 at the 3A state tournament last month.
“We played some tennis on the beach. It was super fun,” said Fiocchi, the Herald’s All-Area girls tennis player of the year for the second year in a row.
Hanford junior Will Thompson, who also went 1-2 at state and showed sportsmanship beyond his years, was named the boys player of the year.
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Kamiakin’s Sarah Miller, who guided the Braves to a regular-season sweep of MCC opponents, was named girls coach of the year, while Walla Walla’s Bryan Eggart was named the boy’s top coach as the Blue Devils finished 5-2 in MCC play.
Fiocchi, who will compete in summer tournaments, played at state for the second consecutive year.
She opened play with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Lauren Skelly of Columbia River. She then lost a 6-4, 6-1 match to Crystal Xu of Lakeside (Seattle) before dropping her third match of the day to Sasha Gaeth of Shorewood, 6-4, 6-2.
“It was nice to make it to state and win a match,” Fiocchi said. “It was a fun year. I feel I have improved every year, and that’s the goal. It’s always hard going to state. Once you get there, everyone is good. I always feel like I could have done more, practiced a little harder. It can be overwhelming. Everyone is super good.
“You watch those girls who are so good, and you look at their game to see what you can do better.”
Kennewick coach Steve Buckingham said Fiocchi is on the right track.
“She has definitely improved each year that goes by,” Buckingham said. “I’m excited to see where she will be when she is a senior. As a young player, she still has areas of her game to work on, but she is so driven to get better.”
The hard work Fiocchi puts in during the summer will make a difference.
She was chosen for the Zonal Team, which selects 12 of the top 16-year-old players from the Pacific Northwest. The USTA event will be July 6-12 in Southlake, Texas. They will play matches against teams from Texas, Florida and the Caribbean.
“The tournaments and drilling all summer is how they compete with the west-side girls,” Buckingham said. “Otherwise, it’s hard to compete against them.”
Just like Fiocchi, Thompson went 7-0 during the regular season, then followed up with district and regional titles to earn a trip to state.
That’s where he not only displayed his talents on the court, but also where he showed the true spirit of sportsmanship by making the right call.
In a consolation match against Jeremy Ansdell from Mount Lake Terrace, Thompson overrode the official, who indicated that Ansdell’s first serve on match point was out.
Giving Ansdell the point would spell the end of Thompson’s run at the state tournament, but he said he didn’t feel good about letting the wrong call stand.
“It’s just what should happen,” Thompson said. “I think he felt he hit a good shot, the lines person was the one who disagreed.”
Thompson finished 1-2 at state, dropping his first match 7-5, 6-7, 6-2 to Nils Harder of Mercer Island.
He then beat Tyler Feldbush of Central Kitsap 7-5, 6-4 before losing his final match to Ansdell 6-2, 2-6, 7-6.
“It was my first trip to state in singles and it was completely different,” Thompson said. “I played doubles with my brother, Sean, and it was much more relaxed. It was a lot of fun. I think I am better at singles than doubles. All of my matches were really close.”
Thompson, who is in the process of looking for a summer job, is not traveling the USTA circuit like Fiocchi.
“I will play some tournaments, but I’m not into it like that,” Thompson said. “I play for fun.”
2016 Herald All-Area Tennis Teams
MVP — Maggie Fiocchi, so., Kennewick. Coach - Sarah Miller, Kamiakin.
Singles — Maggie Fiocchi, so., Kennewick; An Wang, sr., Hanford.
Doubles — Emily Tan, sr., and Christina Xantheas, sr., Hanford; Quinci Fisher, fr., and Chelsea Li, jr., Richland.
Singles — Eden Snider, jr., Pasco; Kara Newcomb, jr., Kamiakin.
Doubles — Kylee Hawley, sr. and Zoee Roylance, jr., Othello; Grace Hamaker-Teals, so., and Devyn Wolfe, so., Southridge.
MVP — Will Thompson, jr., Hanford. Coach - Bryan Eggart, Walla Walla
Singles — Will Thompson, jr., Hanford; Colton Norsworthy, jr., Walla Walla.
Doubles — Colton Sowers, sr., and Nathan Lipton, jr., Richland; Gianni Landby, jr., and Jacob Aoyama, sr., Southridge.
Singles — Cyrus Stephens, sr., Hanford; Diego Villarreal, sr., Othello.
Doubles — Collin Freeman, jr., and Kyler Villarreal, so., Othello; and Callum Pe, sr., and Andrew Um, sr., Richland.