Sarah Morgan and Sofia Morrison played in their share of wind, rain and sunshine during the season.
Friday, in the first round of the 3A state tennis tournament, they had a bit of all three — including a rain delay — in moving into the semifinals at Kamiakin High School.
The Southridge High duo opened with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Caroline Dillion and Caroline Hamilton of Mercer Island, then topped Alex Wilmington and Ashley Osler of Columbia River 7-6 (1), 6-2.
Morgan and Morrison, who are 22-0, will play Mercer Island’s identical twin sisters Lydia and Gabrielle Venditti at 8:30 a.m. today at Kamiakin.
“We lost our first match last year, and as I sat and watched other matches, I said ‘We could hang there,’ ” Morgan said. “We just needed to leave it all on the court. We are excited to crush it (today).”
After a seemingly easy match in their opener, Morgan and Morrison were challenged by Wilmington and Osler in the second.
After winning the first game, the Suns lost the next three as Columbia River took a 3-1 lead.
Southridge rallied to tie the match 4-4, only to lose serve and trail 5-4.
Columbia River had set point at 40-15, but Morgan and Morrison forced deuce and won the game to make it 5-5.
Wilmington and Osler broke Morrison’s serve to make it 6-5, and had set point at 40-30. Again, the Suns forced deuce, won the game and sent the set into a tiebreaker, which they won 7-1.
“The pace of the match was getting away from us,” Morgan said of the first set. “We need to regroup. In our minds, we had a handle on the match.”
Southridge led the second set 3-2 when the rain hit, forcing a delay. The Suns came back out and made quick work of Wilmington and Osler to advance.“We took a moment to refocus,” Morgan said of the rain delay. “We just needed to get on our toes a little more.”
Add Morrison: “They put up a good fight. We just needed to finish points and not make mistakes that weren’t necessary.”
Morgan and Morrison’s teammates, Bailee Sanderson and Shyler Sullivan, won their first match 6-3, 7-5 over Milla Benedetti and Emma Ravio of Mountain View, then dropped their quarterfinal match to Jenny Adams and Kristy Braunston of Liberty, 6-1, 6-4.
Sanderson and Sullivan rallied back to win a loser-out match and will play for 4th/7th at 8:30 a.m. today at Kamiakin against Danielle Brengelmann and Francesca O’Malley of Shorewood.
In girls singles, Hanford senior Sierra Troxel reached the semifinals for the third consecutive year. Troxel finished third last spring and was sixth in 2011.
Troxel beat Isabelle Long of Interlake 6-1, 6-1 in her opening match, then beat Cello Lockwood of Holy Names 6-3, 6-1 in the quarterfinals.
“She was really good,” Troxel said of Lockwood. “Compliments to her, she brought it and made me sweat.”
Troxel, who will head to Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., in the fall, is take the tournament one match at a time.
“It would be nice to win it all, but if not, it means they had a better day,” Troxel said. “There are a lot of good players here. It’s an honor to be among them.”
Troxel will play Catherine Allen of Holy Names in the semifinals at 8:30 a.m. today. Troxel beat Allen for third place last year.
Kennewick’s Stephanie Buckingham will play for 4th/7th today after going 2-1 on Friday.
She opened with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Sidney Smith of North Thurston, before dropping a 6-4, 6-3 match to defending champion Nora Tan (Mercer Island) in the quarterfinals.
Buckingham turned around and beat Nadean Al-Ali of Glacier Peak of 6-1, 7-5 in a loser-out match.
Both of Hanford’s doubles teams lost their first matches, but they stormed their way back through the consolation bracket.
Shane Sandlin and Kevin Sands topped Chris Sato and Nick North of Shorecrest 6-1, 6-1 in the consolation quarters, then made quick work of Jooneil Ahn and Scott Vannerson of North Thurston, 6-0, 6-1.
Sandlin and Sands will play for 5th/8th today against Vince Viloria and Taas Sribhibhadh of Kennedy.
Quinten Dicken and Darko Stankovic beat Shorewood’s Cameron McDowell and Stuart Schachle 6-0, 4-6, 7-5 in the consolation quarters before dropping their semifinal match to Viloria and Taas Sribhibhadh, 6-3, 7-6 (4).
Kamiakin’s Ben Welch and Matt Inman opened play with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Mountain View’s Tyler Sparling and Marcus Kwon, then were upended by last year’s runners-up Matt Alderson and Jacob Christensen of Bainbridge 6-1, 6-0.
The Braves lost their final match 6-4, 6-2 to Sam Blattner and Luke Targett of Seattle Prep.
In singles, Kennewick’s Chad McKenzie and Jared Bolt each went 0-2 in their first appearances at state.
Tournament favorite Jamie Thorp of Kennedy, cruised into the semifinals with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Henry Smith of Mercer Island and a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Daniel Park of Lakeside.
Thorp, who won back-to-back doubles titles with older brother Mitch, is playing singles for the first time at state. He is undefeated this year.
“This is a lot more work than doubles,” Thorp said. “I have a pretty tough draw. I have to use my speed to my advantage. It’s a lot muggier and hotter playing indoors, but I don’t have to deal with the wind.”
Thorp will play Luat Le of Interlake in the semifinals.
Connor Garnett of Interlake, who also is in the semis, was the 2A singles champ last year.
Richland’s Travis Zuroske and Zach Fisher earned a seat in the doubles final four with a pair of wins at Richland High.
Zuroske and Fisher opened with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Union’s Andrew Bagherpour and Jacob Buckley, then topped Jackson’s Everet Wang and James Okubo 6-1, 6-0.
“We got lucky with the weather,” Zuroske said. “We knew it would be an awful day, but we played through the weather. We had some fans show up and it was nice to play at home.”
Zuroske and Fisher will play Newport’s Dylan Harlow and Matt Sham in the semis.
“Zach and I played really well,” Zuroske said. “We feel we can beat anyone and that we should be in the semifinals.”
Should the Bombers make it to the finals, they will play at 2:30 p.m. at Columbia Basin Racquet Club.
Richland sophomore Trent Prussing went 0-2 in his first trip to state.
Defending state champion Mitch Stewart of Federal Way is in the semis after two easy matches in which he lost just two games.
Stewart is doing double duty this weekend. Thursday, Stewart placed sixth in the 1,600 meters at the 4A state track championships in Tacoma.
4A girlsWalla Walla’s Allison Mehn and Rachel Schueller dropped their first match 6-4, 6-3 to Skyview’s Kristina Metz and Macy Ballew.
The tournament directors did not provide any additional information.
In singles, defending state champion Sammi Hampton of Skyview advanced to the semifinals. In two matches, she has only lost three games.
Newport’s Angela Chen, who won a 4A girls doubles title last year, advanced to the singles semis with two straight-set victories.