Sports

Doubles dynamo

"Jenna Wehrell and Nicole Nolte became a doubles team last summer. Wehrell and Nolte enjoyed playing together so much, that they didn't want to break up the act.When turnouts for this spring's Oak Harbor tennis team began, Wehrell and Nolte asked coach Horace Mells if they could play doubles. Mells thought it was a good idea because he watched them play in a tournament last summer.They really clicked well together, said Mells, who made Wehrell and Nolte his No. 1 doubles team.Wehrell and Nolte have clicked all spring, too. They went through the regular season undefeated. The duo won their 15th straight match during Monday's showdown with visiting Edmonds-Woodway. Wehrell and Nolte posted a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Deonna Hughes and Victoria Zaytseva.In addition to Wehrell and Nolte, No. 1 singles player Stacie Pate also finished the regular season 15-0. Pate, the school's all-time leader in victories, defeated Amy Zavaglia 6-2, 6-0.Only two other matches were completed Monday before rain halted play during the battle for the 4-A Western Conference championship. Oak Harbor, the North Division champions, led 3-1 before rain started to fall. Competition was rescheduled for Tuesday afternoon. However, the matches were again rained out. Mells hopes the matches can be completed today at Oak Harbor, or possibly in the indoor courts at Stanwood.Meanwhile, Wehrell and Nolte can practice for the Wesco tournament, which begins Thursday at Harbor Square.Wehrell and Nolte, as they did during the season, won Monday's match in two sets. They went three sets just once during the season, rallying for a 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory over Sehome's Jennifer Giller and Janet Eiford.Nolte wasn't surprised by the success this spring.I knew we would do well this year, Nolte said.Mells has been elated by the two juniors' performance.Going unbeaten in this league is tough to do, Mells said. When a doubles team is doing well, coaches usually start changing their doubles teams at mid-season to make them stronger. I'm really surprised they went through undefeated.Some teams have juggled their lineups in an attempt to beat Wehrell and Nolte. Snohomish, in an effort to slow down Wehrell and Nolte, made its No. 1 singles and No. 2 singles players a No. 1 doubles team. Wehrell and Nolte prevailed.Edmonds-Woodway changed its doubles teams for Monday's match. However, it didn't make a difference to Wehrell and Nolte.We just stayed focused and worked hard, Nolte said.We concentrated on winning point by point, Wehrell added.Pate, undefeated for the second straight year, went on the offensive in playing one of her best matches of the season.She played very well. If she plays like this at the league tournament and at district, she will be tough to beat, Mells said.Oak Harbor's other victory Monday came from No. 2 doubles Maggie Manucal and Kelly Linder. Manucal and Linder defeated Paula Isla and Eunice Song 6-0, 6-1.The No. 2 doubles team finished the regular season at 11-4. Mells is excited about this team's future because Manucal is a freshman, and Linder a sophomore.They have really started to click in the last four matches, Mells said. This is their first year together. They have done exceptionally well. "

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