Hannah Gianan put the finishing touches on an incredible Camas High School tennis career Saturday, in Richland.
She beat Eastmont’s Lily Waterhouse 6-0, 6-0; Olympia’s Ali Topp 7-5, 6-2; and Newport’s Teagan Mach 6-0, 6-3 to reach her fourth state finals match.
“I brought a lot of recognition to our team,” Gianan said. “It’s cool to be able to switch the spotlight from football and basketball to something that a lot of people enjoy, and they enjoy it for their entire lifetime.”
Gianan started out strong in the state championship match by claiming the first two games. Sumner’s Jade Lancaster took the next 12 to secure the title with a 6-2, 6-0 victory.
“This outcome was not what we hoped for, but I’m so proud of her,” said head coach Jonathan Burton. “She struggled through the season with injuries. It was difficult sitting on the sidelines. For her to get to the finals in light of all the things she struggled with this season physically is a triumph.”
Gianan was thrilled for the opportunity to play for one more state championship. She won doubles titles as a sophomore and a freshman, and took second place at singles as a junior.
“The totality of her career is Hall of Fame material,” Burton said.
Unfortunately, all the wear and tear from three grueling postseason tournaments finally caught up to her.
“The amount of physical therapy and all that I had to go through just to get here was hard on me,” Gianan said. “I now know I can’t take tennis for granted. Losing it for six months was just heartbreaking to me.
“And, me playing out there not to the level that I know I can play was difficult mentally and emotionally,” she added. “I know how I can play, and that wasn’t how I wanted to.”
Despite the pain and frustration, Burton said Gianan left it all on the court like she always does.
“I can’t think of a match where she didn’t give her all,” Burton said.
“I think for her winning is important, but she and I are both very much about the team and building a healthy environment for people to compete in,” he added. “She has played a huge role in that this year and in previous years. It’s been a pleasure to watch her build this team from the inside out.”
Gianan said she couldn’t have gotten through the injuries and the doubt and the guilt this season without the support of her coaches and teammates.
“Just persisting through it. They know how much I love tennis,” Gianan said. “Seeing me struggle with that throughout the season just brought us all closer together.”
Burton hopes Gianan can finally rest and get ready to play college tennis for Seattle University. There will never be another Papermaker like her.
“In 10 years, I’m looking forward to presenting her as a Hall of Famer,” he said.