Blaine junior Aubrie Hagen talks strategy with Blaine head tennis coach John Freal during the quarter finals of the 2A Northwest district tennis tournament Tuesday, May 17, at Sehome high school. Photo by Jerry Huls
Blaine junior Aubrie Hagen had never reached the third round of the 2A Northwest district tennis tournament before.
She would have to wait a little longer than everyone else as Sehome school officials suspended play of her second round match against the Mariners’s Gretchen Lawrence just three points away from a stunning upset, Saturday, May 15, at Sehome high school. Hagen, who was 10th seeded in the district in singles, quickly finished off Lawrence early Tuesday, May 18, to join the doubles team of Samantha Nault and Katie Conway in the quarterfinals.
“I wish they would have let us finish,” Hagen said. “But I’m as ready as I can be though.”
Hagen’s reward for getting to the third round was a quick turnaround match with Burlington-Edison’s No. 1 singles player, third-seeded Anna Lefebvre. Hagen’s size and strength seemed to have Lefebrve a little off-balance early, holding her own in losing the first set 6-4.
However, Lefebvre cruised in the second set, crushing Hagen with a series of vicious, deep passing shots, on the way to a 6-4, 6-0 victory. In the consolidation round, Lynden’s Heidi Robins eliminated Hagen in straight sets, 6-0, 6-2.
Nault and Conway brought an auspicious 13-3 record into the third round of play and their match with Sehome’s team of Morgan Sherif and Katie Adams. Instead of forging ahead, however, Nault and Conway floundered early and, forced to play catch-up, never got on track as they fell 6-1, 6-4.
The Borderite team had an opportunity in the second set to break Sherif and Adams but were snake-bitten by an unforced error, which caused the demise of the first set.
“We were nervous and timid,” Nault said glumly afterward.
In a tight second match in the consolation round, Nault and Conway fell to Squalicum’s Becca Wilson and Danielle Dorr 6-3, 7-5 to end their season.
“We definitely could have played better,” Conway said.
Despite the losses, Blaine girls head tennis coach John Freal glowed about the Borderites’ season as well as looking forward to next year.
“Even though we didn’t get to the top places at the distric tournament, it was a great season,” Freal said in an email. “We won a school record number of matches and had a good time doing it. The players have been wonderful to work with were very self-motivated.”
Looking ahead, Freal must ponder replacing six graduating seniors, all from the doubles side of the team.
Joining Nault and Conway in the attrition, are the teams of Joanna Hubbard/Hanna Raine and last season’s winningest team, Bethany Dahl/Martell Hesketh.