Wildcat sister act

They may have never played together competitively before this season, but it certainly didn’t take long to catch on.

After half a season of tennis, Oak Harbor sisters Lareese and Pristine Santos have molded into one of the elite doubles teams in the WesCo North. The duo is 5-2 this year and has won their last five consecutive matches.

“It’s my first season playing doubles and it’s pretty cool playing it with my sister,” Pristine, a sophomore, said. “It’s pretty cool because first of all she’s my sister and I look up to her and she has more experience.”

Lareese, who is in her senior year, shares her sister’s sentiments.

“It’s a really good experience, we have a lot of fun out there,” she said. “You’d think we’d get in a lot of arguments, but we don’t.”

In fact the bond of sisters helps the girls in a variety of ways, including knowing exactly where one another is going to be on the court.

“If she’s not there, then I’ll be there,” Pristine said.

In the event that one slips up and is not where they’re supposed to be, Lareese knows she can act differently with her sister beside her, opposed to someone else.

“We can get on each other’s cases because we have that breathing room,” she said.

The sister factor has one more thing going for it according to Pristine.

“I think the whole sister thing kind of intimidates the other girls,” she said. “They think we’re twins, but we’re not.”

The Santos duo lost their first two matches of the season against teams from Stanwood and Snohomish, but will soon get their chance at redemption during the second half of the season.

“In the first two we were a little rough around the edges, but we’ve really picked it up of late,” Lareese said.

The Santos sisters lost to Madalyn Youngren and Grace Kidd of Stanwood in three sets, while playing in their first ever doubles match.

Oak Harbor coach Horace Mells feels things could be a little different next time around.

“Lareese and Pristine are playing a lot better now and they played a pretty close match the first time,” he said.

The only other loss came at the hands of EB Holderman and Elise Harper of Snohomish. The two Panthers shutout Lareese and Pristine 6-0 in the first set and defeated them 7-5 in a close second set.

Oak Harbor faces Stanwood at home, at 3:45 p.m., Thursday, April 15. They then travel to Snohomish at 3:45 p.m., Tuesday, April 20.

Monroe 4, Oak Harbor 3

The Oak Harbor girls fell, 4-3, to Monroe in a close contest Tuesday afternoon.

Number two singles player, Hazel Sapida, picked up her fifth consecutive victory, 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 over Aimee Sage.

“She’s on a roll right now,” Mells said of Sapdia.

Lareese and Pristine came away with a three-set 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 win over Audra Speer and Lauren Lovatt.

The third and final team victory came from Kara Merriman and Joan Gailo at number two doubles.

Sophomores Erin Jewell and Amy Berg won the first set in their number three doubles match, but eventually fell 5-7, 6-2, 6-3.

Oak Harbor dropped to 4-4 with the loss.

“We’re not doing that bad,” Mells said. “I was hoping to finish 10-6 and we still could.

We match up well with all the schools and I think we can get a win against any of them.”

Singles-Hollywood (M) def. Ka. Goebel, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4; Sapida (OH) def. Sage, 2-6, 6-2, 6-2; Gilstrap (M) def. Kr. Goebel, 6-2, 6-2; Jirak (M) def. Pruss, 6-2, 6-4. Doubles-L. Santos-P. Santos (OH) def. Speer-Lovatt, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2; Merriman-Gailo (OH) def. Goodnight-Hohmann, 6-1, 6-3; Peterson-Roupe (M) def. Jewell-Berg, 5-7, 6-2, 6-3. Records-Monroe 3-3 in league, 3-3 overall. Oak Harbor 4-4, 4-4.

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