Tennis: Coupeville duo wins second straight district title
By JIM WALLER
Whidbey News Times Sports editor
May 10, 2011 · Updated 9:00 AM
Coupeville sophomores Jessica Riddle and Amanda d'Almeida defended their crown by winning their second district 1A doubles title in Friday Harbor Monday, May 9.
With their win, Riddle and d'Almeida qualified for the tri-district tournament at the Amy Yee Tennis Center in Seattle Thursday, May 19.
Coupeville singles players Emily Burchfield and Lexi Blanchette face each other Tuesday, May 10, in Coupeville to claim second place. The winner moves on to a play-in match in Coupeville Monday, May 16, against an opponent from the Seattle area; that winner advances to tri-district.
In round one of doubles, Riddle and d'Almeida defeated Friday Harbor's Shanti Neff-Baro and Madi McPadden 6-4, 6-2; and Jenny Dunn and Sierra Dawson defeated Coupeville's Brooke Monroe and Lexy Bennett 6-2, 6-4.
Riddle and d'Ameida topped Dunn and Dawson 6-3, 6-3 for the title.
Neff-Baro and McPadden stopped Monroe and Bennett 6-3, 7-5 in the consolation match.
Coupeville coach Ken Stange said it took Riddle and d'Almeida a while to get into rhythm, then in the second set they "really pushed the pedal to the metal and ran over" the Friday Harbor pair.
Stange added, "Jessica's big serve helped Amanda end points quickly with sharp volleys and overheads. I was beyond impressed with the way that Jessica and Amanda were able to grow so much over the course of two matches in one day...I guess I could say that they picked the right day to find their mojo."
In singles action, Burchfield started the tournament by defeating Friday Harbor's Rhiana Franklin 6-2, 6-3, and Blanchette fell to the Wolverines' Rebecca Leff 4-6, 6-0, 4-6.
Blanchette nearly pulled off an upset of Leff. After the big 6-0 second-set win, she led 4-1 in the third set before Leff came back in a match that lasted two-and-a-half hours.
Stange said Blanchette's "effort was nearly perfect." He added, "A point here or there and she wins the match. I was so impressed with her will."
Leff took the momentum into the championship match and defeated Burchfield 6-4, 6-3 for her first win over Burchfield in four close contests this spring.
Blanchette defeated Franklin 6-0, 6-3 in the consolation bracket for the shot to face Burchfield for second place.
Contact Whidbey News Times Sports editor Jim Waller at email@example.com or 360-675-6611 ext. 5060.