After another season of dominating opponents in the Olympic League, Sequim's tennis teams ran into much tougher competition at the class 2A state tourney in Seattle last weekend.
Still, both boys and girls squads returned to the peninsula with some hardware as a doubles team from each placed in the top eight.
On the boys' side, junior Reed Gunstone and sophomore Mallory Maloney won their opening matches - a 6-1, 6-2 win against Thomas Berschauer and Martin Michalik of Black Hills and a 6-3, 6-4 victory against Chris Chappell and Garret Mullen of West Valley-Spokane - on May 29 to earn a spot in the quarterfinals, before dropping a pair of matches the next day.
Gunstone and Maloney placed fifth overall, one year after going 1-2 at the state tourney.
"They played well and they competed really hard,' Sequim coach Mark Textor said. "If they could have made a few more shots, they could have even done better. To get to the semifinals is a really good accomplishment. My goal (for them) was to place."
Ettore Scudo, Sequim's Italian exchange student, won a three-set match against Ephrata's Tyler Van Heusden in the consolation bracket before getting eliminated, finishing 1-2.
Sequim's boys placed in a tie for seventh place with Selah, while Sehome took home the boys' 2A team title.
On the girls' side, previously undefeated Kyla Hall and Blaire Maloney opened with a two-set win but fell to the sister tandem of Andrea and Anne d'Aquino of Squalicum in the quarterfinals. The Wolves' top duo rebounded with two straight-set wins - the second coming against teammates Diana Earl and Angela Richards - before dropping a 6-4, 6-1 decision to Emma Anderson and Olivia Koelsch of Tumwater.
"We had a really long weekend - it was so hot," said Hall, a junior. "It was almost 90 degrees and four of our five matches were outside."
After going 1-2 and missing the medal stand in 2008, Hall and Maloney placed sixth this year.
"We had our 'on' games and our 'off' games," Hall said. "Our goal was top five, so we got really close. We're very happy with our results. I can't complain."
In 2009, the two finished 14-2 as a doubles pair.
Maloney graduates in June, leaving her doubles partner of two years.
"I can't imagine playing with anyone else right now," Hall said. "But I'm excited for next year. Maybe I'll find another doubles partner. As of now, I think I want to try singles."
Competing in their first state tourney, Earl and Richards dropped their first match, and then picked up wins against Abby Ferrier and Justine White (6-2, 6-3) and against Anh Phan and Dru Sanchez of West Valley-Spokane (6-2, 6-3).
"I was very proud of Diana and Angela; I thought, they played very well," Textor said.
Then the duo faced their own teammates, with just one pair eligible for a top-eight finish.
Hall and Maloney outlasted their teammates 6-2 and 6-0.
"It was kind of tough and sad," Hall said, "(but) it was fun match. Our whole team was excited we made it to state."
Earl and Richards finished the season 15-4, with three of those losses coming to their Sequim teammates.
As a team, Sequim's girls finished in a tie for seventh place with Ellensburg and Tumwater. Klahowya and South Whidbey tied for the class 2A girls team title.
Reach Michael Dashiell at firstname.lastname@example.org.