YAKIMA, Wash. -- La Salle’s Brendan Stewart made it 3 for 3 on Saturday at the Class 1A-2B-1B state tennis tournament at the Yakima Tennis Club.
Three trips to state, three medals — and, boy, did he earn this third one.
Dropping the first sets in lopsided fashion Saturday, the Lightning junior rallied for a pair of three-set victories to claim fourth place.
“He was battling,” said La Salle coach Cheryl Colvin, noting that Stewart had to adjust to two different style of players.
“He’s one of those players who takes a while to get going, but the longer he plays the better he gets,” she said.
Stewart placed third in doubles last year and fifth in 2011, both years teaming with now-graduated Jacob Tri.
The Lightning’s Jesica Busey and Olivia Martin claimed fifth in girls doubles action. The tandem lost in the opening round but bounced back with two victories Friday and another in Saturday’s medal round.
“They had to rally mentally after that first loss and they came back ready,” Colvin said. “It took a lot of mental toughness and perseverance.”
Sean Singco and Andrew Vargas finished seventh to help the Lightning finish third in the boys standings. La Salle’s girls tied for sixth.
The Naches Valley sister act of Hannah and Katie Richards took fourth place, their only loss to eventual champions Tasha Kowatsch and Sammy O’Bryan of Cashmere in the quarterfinals. The Richards’ medal-round win was against Zillah’s Caitlin Meyers and Kiersten Ritchie
The Rangers, who also qualified Navi Lehal, finished tied for third in the team standings.
Like the Richards siblings, the only blemish of the tournament for Highland’s Kyle Rasmussen was to the player who won the whole thing.
The junior bounced back from an opening-round loss to University Prep’s Beyard Blair by winning three straight matches to take fifth.
Forest Ridge’s Michelle Lui maintained her hold on the state title, posting her third 6-0, 6-0 victory of the tournament in the championship match. In 12 matches at the event, she has lost just 11 games.
Lui, who is ranked among the top players in the region for her age, will look to join Bush School’s Liz Lewis (2004-07) and University Prep’s Erica Perkins (1994-97) next spring as a four-time Washington state champion.
The doubles title for Kowatsch and O’Bryan led the Bulldogs to the team championship.
Charles Wright cruised to its fourth straight boys championship with Teddy Grenley-Phillip Grenley winning the doubles title. The Tarriers had three more entrants finish in the top six.
At Yakima Tennis Club
Singles — semifinals — Beyard Blair (University Prep) d Evan Valentine (Charles Wright) 6-1, 6-1; Jaime Aragon (Riverside) d. 6-3, 6-1. Consolation: Brendan Stewart (La Salle) d. 1-6, 6-2, 6-1; Manuel Perez (Liberty Bell) d. Jose Godoy (Zillah) 6-2, 7-5. Championship: Blair (UP) d. Aragon (Riv) 6-4, 6-4. 3rd/6th: Kelley (CW) d. Valentine (CW) 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. 4th/7th: Stewart (LS) d. Perez (LB) 0-6, 7-5, 6-1. 5th/8th: Kyle Rasmussen (Highland) d. Nich Marchi (Bush) 6-3, 6-4.
Doubles — semifinals: Teddy Grenley-Phillip Grenley (Charles Wright) d. Griffin Welsh-Tyler Sam (Charles Wright) 4-6, 6-2, 6-0; Mac Hewitt-Pranav Harikrishnan (Overlake) d. Ethan Hayden-Keshav Ummat (Overlake) 6-4, 6-1. Championship: T. Grenley-P. Grenley (CW) d. Hewitt-Harikrishnan (Over) 6-4, 6-3. 3rd/6th: Welsh-Sam (CW) d. Hayden-Ummat (Over) 2-6, 6-2, 7-5. 4th/7th: Brian Norwood-Adam Ross (Cashmere) d. Andrew Vargas-Sean Singco (La Salle) 6-1, 6-4. 5th/8th: Nathan Furbeyre-Peter Worrall (St. George’s) d. Collin Kirk-Patterson-Mason Miller (Chewelah) 5-7, 6-2, 6-2.
Singles — semifinals: Michelle Lui (Forest Ridge) d. Shalyn Goodall (Omak) 6-1, 6-2; Hayley Newman (South Whidbey) d. Samantha Weeks (Annie Wright) 7-6, 6-3. Championship: Lui (FR) d. Newman (SW) 6-0, 6-0. 3rd/6th: Goodall (Oma) d. Weeks (AW) 6-4, 6-1. 4th/7th: Megan Robinson (Chelan) d. Tracy Melville (Lind-Ritzville-Sprague) 6-0, 6-2. 5th/8th: Megan Beyers (Tonasket) d. Molly Kenoyer (Cashmere) 6-1, 6-0.
Doubles — semifinals: Tasha Kowatsch-Sammy O’Bryan (Cashmere) d. Madeline Ferry-Mika Inadomi (University Prep) 6-1, 6-4; Hailey Hassinger-Katie Whitten (Cascade) d. Kelsey Malone-Sophie True (Seattle Academy). Championship: Kowatsch-O’Bryan (Cash) d. Hassinger-Whitten (Casc). 3rd/6th: Ferry-Inadomi (UP) d. Malone-True (SA). 4th/7th: Hannah Richards-Katie Richards (Naches Valley) d. Caitlin Meyers-Kiersten Ritchie (Zillah) 6-3, 6-4. 5th/8th: Jesica Busey-Olivia Martin (La Salle) d. Johanna Brulotte-April Easter (Montesano) 6-1, 6-2.