In their first trip to the state finals, Sequim’s doubles teams got a little bit of everything: tough competition, a win and an early ticket home.
Fortunately, each of the players gets a chance at more success next year.
The Wolves, the Washington state girls’ champions in 2007, didn’t have the same success as last year’s squad but did place one girls and one boys doubles squad in the class 2A state tournament in Seattle Friday, where each team went 1-2.
"I felt they played pretty close to par tennis," Sequim girls’ coach Doug Hastings said. "Both the boys and girls played good matches."
On the boys’ side, Reed Gunstone and Mallory Maloney earned a straight set win against Chase Baxter and Brian Bergan of West Valley High (Spokane) 7-5 and 6-1 before falling twice at Seattle’s Nordstrom Center at the University of Washington.
Josiah Jackson and Aaron Porter of Ellensburg stopped the Sequim duo in the quarterfinals by a count of 6-1, 6-3. Needing a win to advance to the second day, Gunstone and Maloney fell to Centralia’s Tony Mendoza and Sean Stanley, 6-0 and 6-2.
On the girls’ side, Kyla Hall and Blaire Maloney survived a three-set contest for their first win at state in the consolation bracket, topping Katie Servatius and Katie VanCleave of Clarkston (7-6, 2-6, 6-4).
The match saw a rain delay as Sequim broke the Clarkston team’s serve at 3-3 and went on to take the decisive third set.
Also needing a win to stay alive in the tournament, Hall and Maloney fell to Centralia’s Bonnie Creel and Janika McMillan, 7-5 and 6-2, in a match that ended near 10 p.m. Friday night.
"They weren’t giving up a lot of easy points," Hastings said of the Hall-Maloney duo. "It was pretty evenly matched. In the last couple of games, the other team turned it up a notch."
In the opener, Hall and Maloney fell to Taylor Griske and Phyllis Petersen in straight sets; Griske and Petersen went on to take third place.
Hastings said he’s excited to see the Sequim players have a chance to get back to the state tourney in 2009, considering this year’s state qualifiers include a freshman (Mallory Maloney), a sophomore (Kyla Hall) and two juniors (Gunstone and Blaire Maloney).