What might have been …
On the strength of Kalli Wiker and Jessica Dietzman’s doubles title, Sequim’s girls tennis team took the 2019 2A crown and looked ready to earn SHS’s first back-to-back state championships when COVID shut down all sports last March.
Wiker and a strong Wolves lineup are back on the courts in 2021, but with the only likely postseason a league tourney Sequim will miss a chance at making a run at another state title.
“We have a solid team this year, especially in the upper part of the lineup,” Sequim coach Mark Textor said.
“The only disappointing part is we don’t get to advance to state.”
Four or five of the Wolves’ lineup figured to have a chance to advance, Textor said, led by Wiker, a senior who with Dietzman went 40-1 over two seasons (2018, 2019).
Also back are McKenna Hastings and Melissa Porter, both seniors. Hastings and now graduated doubles partner Ashley Rosales went 13-0 in the regular season and 2-2 in the league tourney in 2019. Porter predominantly played doubles before switching to singles just before, and during, the league tourney.
Bolstering the lineup are senior Olivia Preston and sophomore Kendall Hastings.
“We have a lot of experience, and a lot of talent with that experience,” Textor said.
“Unfortunately we are senior-heavy; it’s always hard when you lose those seniors.”
The 2019 Sequim squad went 16-0 and also took the West Central District title. This spring, Textor said the goal is similar in previous years: “To improve and we’d like to win as many matches as we can, be number one or two in our league.”
Sequim will go into the season with just 17 players, and just one of them a freshman. it’s the lowest turnout Textor has seen in his 13 years as head coach with the program.
While the numbers are low, the work ethic is not, he said. Sequim’s girls tennis roster has seen zero players unable to compete in early matches because of incomplete/low grades or practice issues, he said.
Sequim (1-0) took on North Mason on March 29, sweeping the visiting Bulldogs in a match that included three forfeit wins.
Wiker blanked North Mason’s No. 1 singles player Izzy Alverts 6-0, 6-0, while Melissa Porter won in straight sets, 6-1 and 6-0, over Alisara Palmer.
The Hastings sisters teamed up for the first time in a varsity match and shut out North Mason’s Rachel Youngman and Teegan Skjonsby, 6-0 and 6-0.
In the only other match played, Sequim’s No. 3 doubles team of Jordan Hegtvedt and Lindsay Swanson won in two sets, topping North Mason’s Jessica Burkett and Megan Johnson 6-2, 6-1.
The Wolves are at Olympic on March 31 and host 3A Central Kitsap on April 1.
Following spring break, Sequim is at Bainbridge on April 12, at East Jefferson on April 14 and at Klahowya on April 17 before hosting North Kitsap on April 19.