Esther Kwon and Jen Lewis are no longer on opposite ends of the tennis court. They are in this together.
The two Camas High School sophomores, who faced each other in the 3A district singles title last year, captured the 4A district doubles championship Saturday, at the Vancouver Tennis Center.
“We were one and two last year. I’m so proud we were able to win it all again for our school this year,” Lewis said. “It’s a lot less pressure playing with someone I’m very good friends with off the court.”
Kwon and Lewis kicked off the tournament by sweeping two teams from Evergreen Friday. They came back on Saturday and beat Skyview’s Kristina Metz and Macy Belleu 6-2, 6-1 in the semifinals. Kwon and Lewis then defeated Union’s Courtney Newell and Rhiannon Morfin 6-1, 6-0. They won a total of 48 games in the tournament, and only gave away four.
“It’s a wonderful experience for them to be able to have that moment together,” said head coach Jonathan Burton. “Tennis can be a lonely sport when you’re out there all alone. Playing doubles gives them a whole new outlook on the game.
“This is not a matter of luck or a very good draw,” he added. “This is an example of two great players who have committed a lot time to this sport.”
Kwon said it took a few matches for her and Lewis to adjust from singles to doubles. By the time they entered the district tournament, they were mean machine.
“It brought out the fire in both of us,” Kwon said.
Communication is key.
“After every single point, we say something positive to each other to keep the energy going,” Lewis said.
“Every if something bad happens, we’re encouraging and we keep each other up,” Kwon said.
Lewis and Kwon will play in the 4A bi-district doubles tournament Friday and Saturday, at the Capital City Tennis & Athletic Center, in Tumwater.
“With tennis and this tournament, our friendship definitely grew stronger,” Kwon said.
“I’m going to remember how happy I was, and how fun it was to play together,” Lewis said. “I had a great time, and I’m ready to carry it on into the next tournament.”