Kennedy tandem takes state tennis title
KENNEWICK - It took two and one-half hours, but in the end the Kennedy Catholic boys doubles team of brothers freshmen Jamie and junior Mitch Thorp finally outlasted the hard serving Seattle Prep team up of identical twins Evan and Drew Beckman, in a three-set final, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3, Saturday, May 28, at the Tri-City Court Club for the Class 3A boys tennis championship.
"They had good serves and net games," observed Mitch Thorp. "We had to be more consistent on returns and get more communicationion. Once we got into the points, we were more consistent on baseline rallies and they made more errors. Good chemistry also got us through the tournament."
After winning the first set, the Thorp brothers were leading 5-3 in the second set and serving for the match, but Seattle Prep broke serve and reeled off four consecutive games to earn the set victory, thus extending the match to a third and deciding set.
Regrouping after losing their only set of the season, the Kennedy Catholic Lancer pair were deternined to close out the third set on the indoor courts and finish unbeaten at 22-0.
Making adjustments, the Lancers counted upon Jamie's baseline game and Mitch's net game to finally down the serve and volley pair from Seattle Prep.
Aiding their power serving, the Panther duo at six feet, four inches and six feet five inches made a tough proposition to pass or lob over at net.
"It was an unbelievable match with high intensity," said Kennedy head coach Maryann Thorp, who is also mother to Mitch and Jamie Thorp.
Also on hand was another Thorp brother, Bryan, recently graduated from college and a former Kennedy tennis player.
On the way to the finals, the Thorp bothers opened the action on May 27 with a 6-3, 6-4, toppling of Mercer Island's Jared Thomas and Andrew Smith. Later that day on the outside courts of Kennewick High School, the Thorps rallied past the Columbia River Chieftain team of Chris Perez and Alex Morawski, 6-2, 6-2 to gain the Saturday morning semifinals.
In the semifinal match, Jamie and Mitch prevailed 6-2, 6-3, against Sammamish's Andrew Nguyen and Benny Tran.
Kennedy Catholic freshman Taas Sribhibhadh dropped his first round boys singles match to Aaron Farmer of West Valley 6-0, 6-1, and was later eliminated in the consolation round, 6-0, 6-4, by Capital of West Olympia's Anthony Litchfield.
The second set showed the Lancer down 5-1 before rallying within 5-4.
"He gained experience and enjoyed it," concluded coach Thorp, who came full circle herself as a 1979 state tennis champion.
In girls singles, Natalie Allen of Holy Names rallied to defeat defending champion Sasha Carter of Bainbridge, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 for the crown.
Grace Porter and Kate Jameson of Bainbridge defeated Mercer Island's Kelly Crandall and Nora Tan 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, for the girls doubles title.
Metro League player, Nathan Hale's Reid deLaubenfels, beat Jordan Smith of Mercer Island, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2, to win boys singles.
The Mercer Island girls tied Bainbridge for the girls team championship while the Islander boys were also team champs.