Sports

Magnificent 7

By the time they reached the West Central District finals, Blaire Maloney and doubles partner Kyla Hall were done shaking their opponents' hands.

After this one, it was time for hugs.

Hall and Maloney topped teammates Diana Earl and Angela Richards in the district finals but both teams are advancing to the state 2A tourney, helping the Wolves' girls reclaim the district team title they won in 2007.

Sequim's boys saw exchange student Ettore Scudo and doubles partners Reed Gunstone and Mallory Maloney each advance after taking the district's third and final seed in singles and doubles brackets, respectively.

Sequim's boys finished second in team standings.

Getting to state is becoming a family tradition for the Maloney clan; oldest sister Brittany qualified for state in doubles three consecutive years (2003-2005) before passing the torch to Blaire, who teamed with Hall to win one of three matches at state last year, and Mallory, who teamed with Gunstone to make state last spring as well, also going 1-2.

"We've both improved so much," Blaire Maloney said about her doubles team. "(Kyla and I) think we can do a lot better. Our goal is top three."

The Hall/Maloney tandem topped teammates Caihley Baker and Mary Cherrett to open the district tourney, then won in straight sets against a squad from Fife before the finals, topping Earl and Richards 7-5, 6-2.

Hall and Maloney are 11-0 this season.

"We ... are better at different things," Blaire Maloney said. "I'm more consistent on the back line and she's really good at net. We just kind of click. We're both honest with each other and ... both really encouraging."

On the other side of the bracket, Earl and Richards beat teams from Fife and Steilacoom to make the final round.

It's the first state berth for Earl and Richards, who are now 13-2 this season, their only losses coming to Sequim's No. 1 doubles team.

Gunstone and Mallory Maloney won their district opener before dropping a straight-set match to Jayson Shieh and Nikita Nosov of Interlake. The pair rebounded for two consolation bracket wins to advance.

"I was kind of nervous at first (but) since I've been there before, I just shook it off," Mallory Maloney said.

"Both play pretty smart," he said.

The pair is 11-1 this season.

Like his doubles teammates, Scudo won his first match before falling in the district semifinals, a 6-1, 6-3 decision to Steilacoom's Paxton Magaway. He rebounded for two more wins and the third seed to state. He is 17-3 this season.



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