Tennis: Coupeville pair just misses state berth
By JIM WALLER
Whidbey News Times Sports editor
May 23, 2011 · 10:03 AM
Coupeville's Jessica Riddle and Amanda d'Almeida missed a trip to the state 1A doubles tennis tournament by one spot after placing fourth in the tri-district tournament Thursday and Friday, May 19 and 20, at the Amy Yee Tennis Center in Seattle.
On the boys side, singles player Ben Hayes and the doubles team of Nathan Lamb and Sam Weaver failed to place.
Riddle and d'Almeida picked a bad year to finish fourth. In even numbered years, four teams earn state berths out of the tri-district meet, but only three earn spots in odd years.
Coach Ken Stange said the pair opened tri-district by playing "the best tennis I've ever seen them play." He added "it was truly impressive" as Riddle and d'Almeida won the first set over a team from Seattle Academy 6-2.
Play tightened after that as the Wolves prevailed 5-7, 7-6(7-5).
In the second round, Riddle and d'Almeida lost to a duo from Overlake 4-6, 6-2, 1-6.
"Running on vapors," according to Stange, the Coupeville pair finished six hours on the court Thursday by gutting out a 6-2, 6-7(4-7), 6-4 win over a team from Forest Ridge.
In the battle for third and the final state berth Friday, Riddle and d'Almeida fell to a pair from Charles Wright 6-7(4-7), 2-6.
Stange said, "They hadn't had many chances to play as doubles partners this season, and they certainly gelled at the right time."
Sophomores Riddle and d'Almeida posted a 2-2 record at tri-district after going 0-2 last spring as freshmen.
In boys singles Friday, Hayes lost to Tim Chang of Charles Wright 3-6, 1-6, 6-1. In the consolation bracket, Hayes fell to Daniel Hasle of University Prep 4-6, 4-6.
Stange said, "This was the final run for (senior) Ben Hayes as a Coupeville tennis player...He's been a key member of the team and has provided us with many wins over the years."
In doubles play, Lamb and Weaver opened against the defending state champions from Charles Wright and lost 1-6, 2-6.
Stange said, "I was impressed that our boys were able to go toe-to-toe against such talented opponents."
A team from Overlake topped Lamb and Weaver 2-6, 2-6 in the second round.Contact Whidbey News Times Sports editor Jim Waller at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-675-6611 ext. 5060.