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Kingston tennis having a grand-slam year
KINGSTON — In a spring sports season filled with long win streaks and frustrating upsets, only one North End team made it all the way through without a loss.
The Kingston High girls tennis team finished the regular season last week with a perfect 13-0 record and will send seven players to the West Central District tournament Friday and Saturday at Auburn High School. And the oldest players on the squad are just juniors.
The secret to the team’s success has been a roster full of talented, versatile players and a coach who’s willing to mix things up on the court.
“I don’t have any superstars, but I have a lot of depth,” coach Terry Grimm said.
That depth goes all the way down to the junior varsity squad, which also finished 13-0 this season. It’s the first time in the school’s three-year history that the two teams have gone undefeated.
Grimm notes that perfection doesn’t happen by accident.
“I think it comes from practicing and working with your JV as much as your varsity, and working with the bottom of your ladder as much as the top of your ladder,” she said.
Having so much talent on the teams gave Grimm the ability to move doubles players into singles matches and vice versa, depending on where the lineup needed to be fortified for each match.
“I’d kind of strategize against other teams, depending on where their strengths were,” she said.
With all that moving around, one player managed to win every one of her individual matches this season. Andrea Fladgard played in the No. 3 and No. 4 doubles slots all year and ended up 13-0. She and teammate Stephanie Fyfe, who normally plays singles, paired up for the Olympic League’s Class 2A tournament last weekend and earned a spot in the district tournament. It was the first time the two had played together all season, but it came as no surprise.
“We always kind of knew that we’d end up playing together,” Fyfe said.
Any discomfort between the new pair melted away as they competed. The duo placed fifth at the league tournament to clinch the final doubles spot at districts.
“We just work well together,” Fladgard said.
Joining them at the district tournament will be the team’s No. 3 singles player, Austen Turner, who placed fifth at the league tourney. Also qualifying for districts were No. 1 doubles players Olivia Guevara and Lindsey Wicklein, who placed second at the league tournament, and the No. 2 doubles team of Maddi Miller and Ericka Daniels, who took third.
Guevara and Wicklein only played together for the last three weeks of the season, but meshed quickly.
“We’re definitely a really strong team,” Guevara said. “We have good communication. We’re pretty consistent.”
Each of the girls will face tough competition at districts from players outside the Olympic League, where they have not ventured this season. But with continued practice, they’re confident they can compete.
“There’s no one that we absolutely don’t want to face,” Guevara said.
North Kitsap High doubles players Kelsey Grunigen and Bryana Bohl placed second at the Olympic League’s Class 3A tournament last week and will compete at the West Central District tournament today at Harry Sprinker Recreation Center in Tacoma.