For more on the Class 4A state tennis tournament go to www.columbian.com/weblogs/highschoolsports
If you went strictly by age, Union’s Jelena Vidovic shouldn’t even be at the Class 4A girls tennis tournament at the Vancouver Tennis Center.
She should be in the eighth grade.
But academic excellence allowed Vidovic to condense two school years into one and become a freshman at Union High School a year early.
Now athletic excellence has the 14-year-old one win away from her goal — to play in the high school state championship match.
“Get to the finals, that was my goal coming into this,” Vidovic said. “I’m almost there. Once I get there, anything else is a bonus.”
Competing against players older than her didn’t slow Vidovic as she breezed past Amie Ho of Newport and Katijene Stime of Mead, both by 6-1, 6-2 scores.
Vidovic meets Elaine Baik of Kamiak in a semifinal match this morning, then comes a potential title shot against Angela Chen of Newport or Megan Lalone of Stanwood.
Lalone proved to be a tough first-round draw for Clark County’s other girls singles entrant, Kylee Tyler-Breimon. Lalone swept past the Battle Ground freshman 6-1, 6-2.
But Tyler-Breimon bounced back in the consolation bracket with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Cindy Park of Jefferson.
In the boys singles bracket, when Kent Andreasen needed a break against Wenatchee’s Hudson Barnhart, the Skyview junior instead got a cramp.
Andreasen had his hand and forearm cramp on him during a pivotal fifth game in the second set. Andreasen kept playing, but Barnhart held serve, then went on to a 6-4, 7-5 win in the quarterfinals. Barnhart ended both sets with the only two service breaks of the match.
“I knew it was going to be a tough match,” Andreasen said, noting that he’s played Barnhart before in USTA play. “I kept getting up 30-love. I needed just a couple of points to get that break, but I couldn’t get it. A point here or there, it might have been different.”
The news was better for another set of Skyview quarterfinalists. The doubles team of Brittany Ellingsen and Anna Romanovsky battle through a tough opening match to beat Elise Ellingsen and Chelsea Motzer of Mead 6-4, 6-2 to reach the semifinals.
Ellingsen and Romanovsky opened with a 7-6, 5-7, 6-1 win over Alyssa and Jenna Gilbert of Kamiak.
“I knew if we could get past that first-round match that things would get easier,” Ellingsen said.
A loss in last week’s bi-district tournament not only led to the tough opening draw, but it also gave Ellingsen and Romanovsky a go-for-broke attitude at state.
“This is our last chance to play high school tennis,” Romanovsky said. “So we might as well go out with a bang.”
Ellingsen and Romanovsky will face Tahoma’s Sierra Southworth and Maddie Turek in the semifinals as three of the four state semifinals came out of last week’s bi-district in Spanaway.
Skyview’s other doubles team of Tara Currie and Kristina Metz also will play today, advancing to the consolation semifinals.
In boys doubles, Union’s Tommy Foster and Connor Horne reached the semifinals with a quarterfinal win over teammates Jacob Buckley and Mark Bright.
Even though Foster and Horne had beaten Buckley and Bright in almost every meeting this season, the Titans’ No. 2 doubles team did not go quietly, losing 7-6, 7-6. In the first set, Foster and Horne had to rally from a 5-2 deficit.
It sets up a rematch in the semifinals of last week’s semifinal of the bi-district meet, when Foster and Horne last to Travis Wood and John Stormans of Olympia.