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2A Girls Tennis: Tigers Tie for Second at State

Courtesy Photo
Centralia’s Hannah Jeffries (front left, with trophy), Rachel Wilkerson (center, with medal) and Ellie Corwin (front right, with medal) pose with the second-place trophy after the State 2A girls tennis championships Saturday in Seattle.

TENNIS: Jeffries and Corwin Take Third, Wilkerson Finishes Eighth for Centralia Tennis Team

SEATTLE — The Tigers’ two entries into the State 2A girls tennis championships each brought back hardware, putting Centralia in a tie for second in the team standings here at the Nordstrom Tennis Center.

Doubles team Hannah Jeffries and Ellie Corwin finished third, and singles entry Rachel Wilkerson took eighth.

“Everyone likes to win, but the real goal on our tennis team is to do your best one point at a time, have fun, enjoy the moment, and in the end, you might win a  tennis trophy,” said Centralia coach Deb Keahey. “If you don’t, at least you played in the moment, and hopefully you got better.  I always believe good things will eventually happen. Today, good things definitely happened.”

Jeffries, a senior, and Corwin, a junior, played their best when it mattered, Keahey said. The duo beat Othello’s Tanaya Anderson and Katie Walker, 6-3, 6-2, in the first round then beat Sehome’s Sidney Balfour and Ava McIlvaine in the quarterfinals, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5. The Tiger duo then lost, 6-2, 6-3, to Bellingham’s Sophia Lawrence and Alice Hiebert in the semifinals on Saturday morning.

They bounced back in the third-place match, beating East Valley (Yakima) duo Olivia Daughs and Bayleigh Harris 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.

“They came out playing intelligent and aggressive tennis in the first set,” Keahey said, adding that they played conservatively in the middle set. “The third set, Hannah and Ellie came out playing smart aggressive tennis and so did East Valley, but Hannah and Ellie were more consistent.”

Jeffries, she added, went out on a high note to end her prep tennis career.

“This tournament brought out the best in Hannah and I’m happy for her. Ellie also rose to the occasion,” she said. “When those two were in sync, one hitting the ball so that she set up her partner to put it away, it was hard to stop them. They were in sync when the pressure was on. It was fun tennis to watch.”

Wilkerson lost to Sedro-Woolley’s Kassidee Beuse, 6-2, 6-2, in her opener, but kept her run alive with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Othello’s Zoee Roylance later on Friday. She then beat Foster’s Aileen Nguyen in a long 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 match to reach the fifth-place contest.

Spending three hours in the sun Saturday morning and then staying outside in the trophy round — a pipe burst inside the Nordstrom Tennis Center, flooding the courts and pushing everything outside — took its toll in a 6-4, 6-3 loss to Anacortes’ Nicole McInermy.

“Rachel’s was one of those matches, so she was out in the hot sun probably about five hours today,” Keahey said. “I thought she held her own and she never complained, but I think for her today, she would’ve done better if the pipes hadn’t broken and she played inside as originally scheduled.”

W.F. West’s Mya Davis and Megan Wilks came up just a match short of the trophy round. The Bearcat duo lost a 6-2, 6-3 match to North Kitsap’s Flynn Hibbs and Stine Nielsen in the first round, then beat Foster’s Aivy Nguyen and Cora Padilla in a loser-out match, 6-1, 6-1. They lost to Tumwater’s Nichole Howard and Mikayla Key, 7-6, 6-4, in the consolation semifinals on Saturday.

W.F. West’s Sydney Cameron, the No. 3 seed out of District 4, beat Foster’s Nguyen 6-2, 6-3 in the first round, and lost to Mary-Frances Ballew of Selah in the quarterfinals. She was eliminated in a 6-0, 6-1 consolation loss to Sedro-Woolley’s Beuse on Saturday.

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