Panthers net third place at tennis tourney

The Washougal High School girls tennis team clinched third place at the Longview tournament Friday and Saturday, at the Mint Valley Racquet Club.

Seven Panthers earned ribbons for their efforts. The team of Taryn Boni and Jenni Ladwig reached the championship match in the doubles bracket and settled for second place.

“Jenni’s serves were on, and Taryn was able to take advantage at the net. They had a good system going,” said head coach Linda Balholm. “They lost by a tiebreaker. That’s how close they were to winning the championship.”

Christina Zack and Haley Briggs bounced back from a loss in the semifinals by winning their last match for third place in the double bracket.

“You could see their improvement each time they stepped on the court,” Balholm said. “They were getting more and more confident with each set.”

Sydney Hickey earned third place for Washougal in the singles bracket, and Amelia Quatermass followed in fourth place. Balholm said Hickey started mastering “the drop shot” in her last match. Quatermass faced some very tough opponents, including state contenders from Hockinson and Centralia.

“She was able to keep up with those state contenders,” Balholm said. “Even if the score doesn’t show it, she matched them point-for-point.”

Megan Anderson played a total of eight hours of tennis. Even though she only had one win to show for it, her effort did not go unnoticed.

“She just kept battling until she got the point,” Balholm said. “We were very impressed.”

The team of Jenni Zhuang and Maddie Gregory rounded out the rotation with one victory. Balholm was thrilled to see every girl win at least one match at the tournament and learn something along the way.

“They were able to play a lot of matches and gain experience, which is the best thing for these girls,” she said. “I am extremely proud of the way these girls played. Their sportsmanship was superb and they gave it all on the court.”

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