It was a banner day for Hanford tennis at the 3A state tournament.
Sierra Troxel finished third in girls singles, and the doubles team of Alex Sharpe and Acacia Dettman finished third Saturday, leading the Falcons to second place in the team standings.
“Alex and Acacia were amazing,” Hanford coach Bill Fletcher said. “They peaked at just the right time. Sierra’s last match was just phenomenal. She battled back really well.”
Not to be outdone by the girls, the Hanford boys place third in the team race, and got a fifth-place finish from Luke Thompson in singles, and a sixth-place finish from Shane Sandlin and Quinten Dicken.
Never miss a local story.
“All-in-all, a good turnout for Hanford,” Fletcher said. “Our boys doubles team has never been past district, what an accomplishment. It puts us in a good position for next year. Luke isn’t real happy with fifth, but he did a good job coming back through.”
The Mercer Island girls won their fourth consecutive state team title, edging Hanford by three points (19-16). Nora Tan helped the Islanders to the title, winning her first singles crown 6-4, 6-1 over Barbra Ann Carey of Seattle Prep.
“This year was tough,” Mercer Island coach Mindy Blakeslee said. “We had one singles player and one doubles team. We have a lot of tradition at Mercer Island and they worked really hard for this.”
The Mercer Island girls have won 12 of the last 15 team titles.
Rolling up an impressive 35 points, Mercer Island won the boys team title. The Islanders had singles players place second, fourth and sixth, and doubles teams take third and fifth.
Girls singles: Troxel dropped her semifinal match to Tan 6-7, 6-1, 6-1 in a hard-fought battle. She rallied back to finish third with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Catherine Allen of Holy Names.
“In the semis I played really well in the first set and I was dominating points,” Troxel said. “In the second Nora took control. She got hot and her serves were pressuring me. She has a great backhand. When she wants, she hits the bejeezus out of it.”
Troxel and Allen were tied at 4-4 in the first set before Troxel broke Allen’s serve, then fought through deuce for the win.
In the second set, two games went to deuce, but it was all Troxel.
“I was playing a good match,” Troxel said. “It went back-and-forth, but for a freshman, she’s a dominant player. I get really antsy until I get up 5-0, then I know I just need to win one game.”
Kennewick’s Stephanie Buckingham finished seventh, losing her final match to Meera Limaye of Shorecrest 6-4, 6-2.
Girls doubles: Dettman and Sharpe lost their semifinal match 6-3, 6-3 to eventual champions Shiori and Akari Baba of Prairie.
The Hanford duo came back to beat Carley Schmidt and Carly Riehl of West Valley 6-4, 6-4 to finish third in its first trip to state.
The Southridge pair of Sofia Morrison and Sarah Morgan finished fifth, beating Kayla Zillbauer and Camille Clare of Enumclaw 6-0. 6-0.
The Baba sisters outlasted Sophia Gage and Lydia Venditti of Mercer Island 2-6, 6-1, 7-5 for the doubles title.
Boys singles: Zack Kosanke of Bellevue opened the tournament with a win over Hanford’s Thompson, then finished it off with a state title, beating last year’s runner-up Jordan Smith of Mercer Island 5-7, 6-1, 6-3.
“The difference from last year to this year, was I wanted it more,” said Kosanke, who was sixth last year. “I was cramping up a bit out there, but I pushed through and kept going.”
Smith was a victim of his own play. He double faulted 14 times and had numerous unforced errors.
“I knew he was making service errors and I was looking for a break,” Kosanke said. “With my backhand I was able to take my shot on the rise and I was serving well. I had rhythm with my first serve and got tough points.”
Thompson, who was third last year, beat Juan Ramirez of Shorecrest 7-6, 7-6 for fifth, winning three loser-out matches.
Boys doubles: Mitchell and Jamie Thorpe of Kennedy successfully defended their title, beating Matt Alderson and Jacob Christensen of Bainbridge Island 7-5, 6-4.
Christensen held serve in the final game, but double faulted to give the Thorpes the title.
“They are a really strong team,” said Mitchell Thorpe, who will take his game to UC Davis in the fall.
“That was a tough way to end it,” Jamie Thorpe said. “There’s a lot of pressure when the match is on the line. We play them during USTA tournaments. They have never beaten us.”
Dicken and Sandlin dropped a 6-3, 6-2 semifinal match to Alderson and Christensen on Saturday morning. They were unable to bounce back, finishing sixth after a 6-4, 7-5 loss to Kyle Baska and Marcus Almqvist of Mercer Island.
It was a tale of two singles championship matches as the 4A state tennis tournament reached its pinnacle at Columbia Basin Racquet Club.
And they were wildly different tales. Federal Way’s Mitch Stewart recorded smooth 6-2, 6-3 victory against Skyview’s Kent Andreasen.
The win delivered Stewart, a sophomore, to a record of 25-0 on the season and a high school career mark of 50-1.
The girls title match was a true nail biter, if not an all-out nerve-wracker, that concluded after Skyview’s Sammi Hampton bounced back from a second-set loss to stun Stanwood’s Megan LaLone 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.
In the championship doubles matches, Olympia’s Hunter Wood and John Stormans defended their title with a 6-1, 6-2 win against Union’s Mark Bright and Connor Horne, and Newport’s Angela Chen and Amie Vo filed a 6-1, 6-0 victory against Kamiak’s Alyssa and Jenna Gilbert.
Brett Meyer and Zach Fisher of Richland picked up a seventh-place finish after losing 6-2, 6-4 to Wenatchee’s Nick Mandelis and Lucas Tilly.
Othello’s Jocelyn and Yanitta Cantu finished sixth overall in girls doubles at Nordstrom Tennis Center in Seattle. The Cantu sisters opened with a 6-1, 6-2 semifinal loss to Squalicum’s Becca Wilson and Claire Krause, then lost the placing match for third and sixth in straight sets to W.F. West’s Reile Slattery and Aleassa Wren.