Esther Kwon and Jen Lewis earned third-place medals from the 4A state girls tennis tournament Saturday, in Richland.
The two Camas High School sophomores only lost two sets in three postseason tournaments.
“It was nice to see them build their friendship, which only builds the strength of their game on the court,” said head coach Jonathan Burton. “These two girls have pretty much been inseparable for the last month. They traveled together, ate together and practiced together. And the great thing about this whole experience was, they got to finish the season off with a win.”
Lewis and Kwon defeated Erin and Megan Huffman, of Lake Stevens, 6-1, 6-2 in the first round. They then beat league rivals Kristina Metz and Macy Ballew, from Skyview, 6-2, 6-2.
Issaquah’s Sam Garrard and Kelsey Wilson bested Kwon and Lewis 6-3, 6-3 in the semifinals. The Papermakers bounced back and defeated Lynwood’s Monica Kwong and Christina Borsan 6-4, 6-2 for third place.
“Issaquah was the first real challenge our girls faced in the postseason,” Burton said. “They did a good job of shaking off the loss and refueling the tank. Their spirits were high by the time they went into that last match.”
Lewis frustrated opponents by hitting cross shots at their feet. Kwon had the drop shot working at the net, and the back hands down the lines.
“At that level, it’s not about waiting until you have a good shot. It’s about creating an opportunity and executing,” Burton said. “Their biggest strength came from their ability to stay positive with each other and encourage each other, even if they lost a point. They became a real solid doubles team.”
Kwon and Lewis are both determined tennis players who expect to win. Burton and assistant coach Annie Sumpter told the girls to play hard for every point, and remember to have fun.
“If you’re having fun, the desired result will come along,” Burton said. “When they were having fun and being optimistic, that’s when they hit their best shots.”