WF West Girls Tennis Comes Out Strong in First Match of the Year

By Isabel Vander Stoep /

For their first match of the year, the WF West’s girls tennis team defeated Washougal, 4-2, in some non-league action on Wednesday afternoon in Chehalis.

And despite needing a 15 minute break due to rain, the weather mostly held up for the Bearcats’ match, which had been rescheduled after getting rained out Tuesday.

At first singles for WF West, Claire Kuykendall beat Elise Moore of Washougal, 6-4, 6-3.

“Claire was a little tentative, the girl she played was a good player, but even at that… (Kuykendall) could have driven the ball more,” WF West coach Jack State said. “But she she came through when she needed to.”

In the only lost singles match, second singles player for the Bearcats, Kaylynne Dowling, came up just short against Washougal’s Avery Vera in a three-set match ending with a tiebreaker. Vera beat Dowling 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (8-6).

For WF West’s third singles player Laura Yip, a counterpunching specialist, losing a few games in the second set didn’t stop her from taking the match against Washougal’s Anika Adams, 6-1, 6-3.

“Laura got down 3-0 in the second set and came back to win it,” State said. “She was just being Laura, keeping a lot of balls in play. The thing about Laura that’s better this year is she can be more aggressive when she needs to be. “

On the doubles side of the varsity tennis team, WF West first doubles players Mariama Ceesay and Hannah Feaster defeated Washougal’s Jaisa Wilson and Hadley Jones 6-2, 4-6, 6-1.

State said he was frustrated the team lost their second set, but that when they got back on the court for set three, the duo “played perfectly.”

Washougal’s Sammy Madres and Lauren Rebus scraped out the only doubles victory against WF West, beating Cadence Edminster and Lillian Schmitz 6-2, 6-1.

In their first-ever varsity matches, Katlyn Wood and Emma Weerasinghe played as WF West’s third doubles team, prevailing over Washougal’s Erin Kutchera and Alaina Kestner in a tight 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 match.

“Kaitlyn and Emma got that final victory for us, and I have not seen two happier kids in years,” State said. “One is a freshman, one is a sophomore and it was both of their first varsity match, and they were just giddy. After the first set they got a lot better at not hitting back to the net girl. For beginner players I thought they did a really good job. That was a really good match. “

Overall, State said, taking the first match of the year is exciting. As the season moves ahead, he’s most looking forward to watching the progression of Kuykendall, saying she works hard on the court in matches and practice alike.

“More than anything, I’m excited for Claire,” State said. “She made it to districts as a freshman (and) her sophomore year we didn’t have a season. Her junior year, she placed second at districts and she would have gone to state, but we didn’t have state. So now she’s a senior looking to go to state. I’m just really looking to get her di lei that trip to state for her senior year. “

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