Thorp brothers stroke to bi-district title
SPANAWAY - Seamount League champion Kennedy Catholic pounded the tennis courts for some awesome results.
Mitchell and Jamie Thorp of Kennedy Catholic stroked to the boys doubles championship of the 2011 Class 3A West Central/Southwest bi-district tennis tournament in concluding action held at the Sprinker Recreation Center on Saturday, May 21.
Joel Richardson and Jacob Yannello of Lakes forced the Lancer tandem into a first set tie-breaker after a 6-6 standoff. Pulling off key shots, the Thorp brothers escaped with an 8-6 win in the tiebreaker.
"We trailed 5-6 in the tiebreaker," recalled Jaime. "I made a volley and Mitch knocked off two consecutive service winners."
In the second set, the Lancers avoided a tie-breaker, but still had to win by capturing critical points when presented. Leading 5-4, the Thorps broke serve to earn the final set, 6-4 when Mitch pulled a backhand up the line.
"They were tough," said Mitch. "They were good players, but we could have played better. We pulled through by having to make clutch shots. We'll have to improve ourselves for state (at Kamiakin High School and the Tri-City Court Club in Kennewick)."
According to Mitch, improving his own volleys and keeping better communications will be the key elements at state.
On the the way to the title, the Thorp bothers began the round of 12 by defeating Ian Jones and Zack Jones of Columbia River. Next the Mountain View duo of Dan Jones and Trevor Garmire fell to Kennedy, setting up the final match up.
Great efforts resulted in another Kennedy Catholic state qualifier and some near misses.
Taas Sribhibhadh captured fourth place to state singles by virtue of his monumental three set, 6-2, 2-6, 6-2, winner- to- state, loser out defeat of Brandon Kang from Camas.
Sribhibhadh fell into the consolation bracket after a loss to Jordan Richardson of Lakes. Then he eliminated teammate Vincent Viloria ahead of a default win from Triton Pitassi of Camas to reach the state qualifying match.
For Filipino freshman Viloria, the learning experience began with a pigtail match defeat of Auburn Mountainview's Tim Russell. Then came a loss to Kang ahead of his defeat by Sribhibhadh.
In further Kennedy Catholic boys play, Boris Oks and Cody Huynh fought their way through doubles before falling just short of a state berth. Oks and Huynh captured a pig tail win against Goodin and McCarthy of Enumclaw to enter the next phase. This KC duo opened the next section by triumphing against Jack Cabanatuan and Nate Dahlstrom of Columbia River and followed up by being beaten by Koessler and Thomas of Wilson.
Once in the consolation bracket, the Lancers ousted Hill and West of Bremerton. Chris Perez and Alex Morawski of Columbia River then stopped the KC pair, 6-3, 6-4, one win short of state.
Kennedy Catholic's Ellie Bruns and Kezia Crawley finished a hair's breadth out of a state placing. Bruns and Crawley opened with a with a victory against Gamache and Toellner of Wilson, but then dropped a decisions to Lauren Wetzel and Julie Piboonvarangoon of Columbia River.
To earn a chance at a match for state, the Lancer pair had to face teammates Alex Quackenbush and Madde Holdaas. With both teams playing superbly, Bruns and Crawley stroked to the threshold of state by emerging with a fantastic 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (17-15) marathon elimination of their fellow Lancers.
"It was tough to play them," admiited Bruns. "Both teams played really well. Both teams played so well. We just tried to keep the most consistency.
Bruns and Crawley left everything on the court before Natalie Nicholson and Nicole Lawton from Capital took the state fourth place seed, 6-7, 6-4, 6-3, placing the hard fighting JFK duo in a sixth place alternate to state spot. The KC tandem held a 3-0 lead in the second set, but the Cougars just kept coming at them.
Jenna Grillo and Shari Gray from Mountain View outpaced Quackenbush and Holdaas in the first round, but Kennedy Catholic's pairing ousted Decatur's Christina Sessoms and Jen Kanesta to earn the right to face Bruns and Crawley.
Chloe Miller dropped a girls singles match to Baba of Peninsula before defeating Casias. Miller then lost a second set tie-breaker to Long of Lincoln. Dena Sribhibhadh lost her matches to Leimback of Yelm and Lily Hsu of Camas.
"It went well," observed Kennedy Catholic head coach Maryann Thorp. "We would have liked to get a few more wins, but I'm proud that all our players played their best tennis and felt good out there. As the competition got better, they got better."
The Capital Cougars boys and girls teams won the team titles plus the boys and girls singles championships.
After trailing 4-1 in the first set, the Cougars' Anthony Litchfield rallied past Lakes' Jordan Richardson for the boys singles championship.
Lauren McCann defeated Bonney Lake's Alise McCoy, 6-0, 6-3, to earn the girls top spot.
Meghan Cassens and Kamilla Nowasad defeated Wetzel and Piboonvarangoon, 6-3, 6-4, for the girls doubles championship.