Sequim girls tennis team wins state title

YAKIMA – Sequim High School’s girls tennis team has won the 2007 Class 2A State championship.

Sequim sent a pack of Wolves to the state tournament at the Yakima Tennis Club on Friday and Saturday, and all of them finished fourth or higher in their events.

The doubles team of junior Laine Briggs and senior Anna Slater took fourth place.

Seniors Stacia Bibler and Stacy Stratton finished one spot higher than Briggs and Slater in the doubles tournament, taking third, whil senior Justine Textor placed third in the singles competition.

The team title has earned the girls a sublime distinction in their school’s annals of athletic achievement.

Their first-place trophy is Sequim’s first State championship in a team sport in school history.

“Our girls are extremely happy,” coach Mark Textor said. “It was a perfect weekend. The weather was beautiful. The crowds were huge, and the kids were just phenomenal.”

Briggs and Slater won their first match before losing to eventual state champions Molly Beaumont and Mandy Hatch of Bellingham 7-5, 6-2.

The girls then had to win their way through the consolation bracket, winning three loser-out matches on their way to taking the fourth-place trophy.

“They were amazing, they were tough as nails,” Textor said. “They won more than any of our teams. They played all day, every day.

“They just lined them up and knocked them down.”

Bibler and Stratton won their first two matches, then fell in the semi-finals to state runners-up Brandi Benner and Jill Toronchuk of Lynden 6-1, 4-6, 4-6.

“They were up against a very good team from Lynden,” Textor said. “When you look at it, they actually won more games because the first set was 6-1 and the last two were 6-4 [in favor of Lynden].”

Bibler and Stratton then blew out Karissa Bodnar and Bonnie Creel 6-1, 6-0 for the third-place hardware.

Justine Textor, like Bibler and Stratton, won her first two matches before falling in the semi-finals.

And like Briggs and Slater, Textor lost to the eventual champion, Lindsey Newman of South Whidbey 6-3, 6-1.

Textor then dispatched Elise Rooney of Clarkston 6-3, 6-1 in the third-place match.

“Justine played the best tennis of her life,” Textor said. “She played consistent, strong, tenacious tennis throughout and she never gave up.”

According to Textor, the fact that the third-place matches in both singles and doubles were so lopsided showed that the Wolves are “very clearly in the top three in both singles and doubles.”

The area’s other girls tennis state title contender, Tinka Hanan of Port Angeles, lost both of her singles matches at the 2007 Class 3A State Girls Tennis Championships at Kamiakin and Kennewick on Friday.

Hanan went up against freshman Alexis Filliol of West Valley (Yakima) in the first round, losing 6-0, 6-0 to the eventual State champion.

Hanan then went up against another talented freshman, falling 6-4, 6-1 to Anissa Bryant-Smith of Sammamish. Bryant-Smith went on to take sixth place.

Sequim also sent the boys doubles team of Cody Hansen and Michael Richards to the state tournament.

Hansen and Richards did not drop a set until they reached the finals.

In the State championship match, Hanson and Richards lost 6-3, 6-3 to Ed Rooney and Kyle Servatius of Clarkston.

The Sequim Wolves won a girls state team title, finished fourth and third in girls doubles, third in girls singles and second in boys doubles, all in a single weekend.

They have served notice that they have one of the premier tennis programs in the state.

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