Only rivalry left

C-W tennis teams earn respect from next door neighbors

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The Camas and Washougal high school rivalry thrived for more than a century, but now the games between these two neighbors are rare.

In fact, tennis was the only sport keeping this tradition alive in 2015.

The Papermakers beat the Panthers 6-0 Thursday, at Washougal High School.

“Even after all these years, I’m glad we still have these competitions with Washougal,” said CHS senior Esther Kwon. “I saw a lot of support from both schools, and there was a friendly atmosphere within. You can’t ask for anything more than that.”

Kwon defeated WHS senior Haley Briggs 6-1, 6-0 in the number-one singles match. The Papermaker said she feels more relaxed on the court after finishing third at the state tournament last season. She has also developed a stronger bond with Jen Lewis, Meghal Sheth and the other seniors.

“It’s nice to know people on the team who have stuck with this for four years,” Kwon said. “Our goal is to win league for our team. That would fire us up for postseason.”

Briggs had memorable final soccer and basketball seasons for Washougal. She looks forward to growing as a tennis player now that she is covering the whole court.

“I was just trying not to hit it in the doubles’ lines,” Briggs said. “It’s nice because I get to work more on placing the ball and improving my serve. It’s good for me overall, especially the mental part of it.”

Briggs showed her potential by placing third in the R.A. Long tournament Friday and Saturday, at Mint Valley. Competition in any sport brings out the best in her.

“It’s been a really long journey through soccer, basketball and tennis, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Briggs said. “I got to wear new uniforms in all three sports. It’s sad when I have to give them back and know I’m not getting them back next year.”

Camas freshman Samantha Merrill bested Washougal senior Maddie Gregory 6-1, 6-0 Thursday. Sheth swept Washougal senior Sami Anderson 6-0, 6-0.

“Still having this connection between the schools is important,” Sheth said. “It gets both teams ready for the season.”

The Camas team of Megan Chow and Hannah LaFrazia defeated Washougal’s Bailey Hammond and Brittany Beard 6-0, 6-4. Papermakers’ Kelsey Robertson and Fatima Manzer beat Panthers’ Kassidy Baldwin and Rylee Erdwins 6-0, 6-5.

The top doubles contest proved to be the most competitive one. Jessica Eakins and Kat Moua won the only set for Washougal 6-4. Lauren Belzer and Stephanie Schuldt came back to win the match for Camas 6-1, 6-1.

The Papermakers topped Prairie 4-1 Friday, at Prairie High School.

Hannah Gianan (6-0, 6-3), Lewis (6-0, 6-0), Kwon (6-0, 6-0) and the doubles team of Merrill and Sheth (6-3, 6-2) won matches for Camas.