6 from KHS, 1 from NK are District qualifiers | Tennis

KINGSTON — Becca McNurney likes her serve, a lot.

The Kingston varsity singles tennis player practices serving an hour a day after dinner, not to mention during the team’s practices. She said her forehand shot, cross court, is also a benefit to her game.

“I like to rip it,” she said of her tennis shot.

McNurney, along with five other tennis players from the Buccaneers team, will need to do just that if they plan to compete in the West Central District III tournament. The six Bucs who qualified for the tournament play Saturday at Sprinker Recreation Center, 14824 South C St., Tacoma.

The qualifying 2A Olympic League tournament began May 2 and finished May 7. The tournament was held at North Kitsap High School tennis courts.

Along with McNurney, Austen Turner will compete in the 2A singles tournament as well.

Qualifying 2A doubles teams include Lindsey Wicklein/Erica Daniels and Marilyn Fick/Charlotte Kilborn.

Wicklein and Daniels won the 2011 District tournament, after taking the 12th seed into the tournament. This year, Kingston coach Terry Grimm believes they have a shot at making State. Daniels has a lot of power and Wicklein has great placement, she said.

“They won the District tournament last year, which was a total surprise, because they were seeded 12th,” Grimm said. “They have that desire, which helps a lot.”

To make it to Districts, McNurney won her first three matches — 6-1, 6-1 against Olympic’s Melena Johnson, 6-3, 6-1 against North Kitsap’s Julia Hoak and 6-0, 6-4 against Kingston’s Austen Turner. She lost in the championship match to Klahowya’s Tracy Landram 6-0, 6-0. Landram is the 2010 and 2011 state champion.

Turner made it to Districts with wins against North Mason’s Bree Abplanalp 6-0, 6-2 and North Kitsap’s Sydney Crabtree 6-2, 2-6, 6-2. She lost to McNurney. She then won against Port Angeles’ Kyrie Reyes 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7-4) and lost to Crabtree 7-6 (7-1), 6-3 for fourth place.

Turner’s match against Crabtree followed an approximately three-hour match against Reyes. The third/fourth match was, thankfully, not a District qualifier. “It took a little bit of the pressure off,” Turner said.

Wicklein and Daniels won their first three matches 6-1, 6-1 against Klahowya’s Kate Gallegos/Danielle Frederick, 6-0, 6-3 against Sequim’s Hillary Smith/Anna Prorok and 6-3, 6-3 against Port Angeles’ Jordi Fickas/Chelsea Drake. The two lost in the championship match 7-5, 7-5 to Sequim’s Stacy Hanson/Katrina Chan.

Fick and Kilborn won their first two — 6-0, 6-3 against Chimacum’s Rachel/Rebecca Ramsey, and 6-3, 6-1 against Port Angeles’ Daniell Rutherford/Shayla Bohman. They lost 6-2, 6-2 to Hanson/Chan. They won 7-5, 6-2 against Rutherford/Bohman for third place.

As a team, the Buccaneers were undefeated (12-0) and are the Olympic League champions. This is the third year the Bucs have been undefeated.

Practicing hard, everyday despite the weather, has contributed to that success, Grimm said. Grimm also held winter conditioning classes for students this year, and the tennis team participated.

And, preparing to graduate nine of 11 varsity players, Grimm has the junior varsity team still practicing, even though the JV season is over.

As for the expected challenge in the postseason, that’s an unknown. The team participated in a tournament with Enumclaw, but they haven’t had any opportunities to play other 2A schools outside the Olympic League. Fick said her doubles team’s weakness will be that unknown entering Districts.

Sydney Crabtree seeks State appearance alone

POULSBO — This is Sydney Crabtree’s second year playing tennis. On Saturday, she will be the only person from the girls varsity team representing North Kitsap High School at the District tournament.

“I’m definitely practicing a lot,” Crabtree said outside the NK tennis courts. “I’m pretty nervous.

However, “If I can keep my nerves low, I think I will do OK.”

Crabtree earned her singles spot at Districts following the Olympic League tournament. She defeated Chimacum’s Sienna Mandary (6-2, 6-1), then lost to Kingston’s Austen Turner (6-2, 6-1).

In the consolation bracket, she won 6-1, 6-0 against Olympic’s AnneMarie Herbert, and defeated Turner 7-6 (7-1), 6-3 for third place in the tournament.

Crabtree and Turner have a bit of history on the court. Last season, Crabtree eliminated Turner from a shot at Districts. This year, Crabtree finished third and Turner finished fourth, and both get to move on.

Crabtree said one of her best weapons on the court is her forehand, which has a lot of top spin.

“A pretty powerful shot,” she said.

She still needs work on serving, but she said she is bending her knees more and following through better.

North Kitsap coach Kelli Crabtree, Sydney’s mother, said a shot at State would be a nice way for her naturally athletic daughter to wrap up her senior year. Sydney played basketball through junior high and high school, but her appreciation for tennis shows with what she has done in the last two years.

“We’ll see what happens,” coach Crabtree said. “It’s going to be a hard road … a hard road.”

As for the rest of the varsity team, they are young, but have promise.

Singles player Julia Hoak won two out of four of her matches. Doubles teams Rakshya Shaha/Danielle Haberly won two of three of theirs. And Amanda Hancock/Amanda Moreno lost their two matches.

Boys qualifiers

As a reminder, the boys from North Kitsap School District heading to Districts include:

Singles: Zach Fohn, NK; Matt Moriarty, NK.

Doubles: Steven Breitmayer/Alex Olson, NK; Kyler Gracey/Nick Tedford, NK.

The boys tennis ended its regular season in fall. Boys tennis postseason coincides with the girls.

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