Skyview freshman Sammi Hampton captured her first title on Saturday — with a little help from a friend.
Hampton grinded out a tough 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 victory over Megan Lalone of Stanwood win the girls singles title at the Class 4A state tennis tournament in Richland.
“It was a great win for Sammi,” Skyview coach Mark Ray said. “She rose to the occasion and proved to be a fantastic champion.”
An ecstatic Hampton was quick to extend her appreciation to Greater St. Helens League rival Jelena Dokovic for her role in capturing the title.
Dokovic battled Lalone in a semifinal match that lasted more than three hours before Lalone escaped with a 5-7, 6-1, 7-6 victory.
“Megan didn’t look tired, but she had to be,” Hampton said. “That match (vs. Dokovic) lasted like 3 1/2 hours.”
Ray added: “Megan should have been dead on arrival (for the title match). But she’s so tough. I don’t know where she finds the energy or strength. Sammi was getting frustrated with not being able to get balls past her.”
But Ray added that Hampton’s composure under pressure proved to be the difference.
“The thing about Sammi that is so amazing is her composure,” Ray said. “She’s so thoughtful about what she is doing on the court. You spend four years trying to teach that to player, and she just walks out with that ability. It’s going to be hard to beat her in the years to come.”
Hampton said her external composure belied the stress she was hiding inside.
“I’m really happy right now, but I’m still shaking,” she said. “I was so nervous out there. But it was a good experience, and it was great to have my team cheering me on.”
The energy expended in the semifinal loss to Lalone came back to hit Vidovic in the third-place match, where she lost to Sabrina Demerath of Inglemoor 6-2, 6-3. Vidovic, a sophomore, took home sixth place.
Battle Ground’s Kylee Tyler-Breimon captured fifth place for a second year in a row, beating Sarah Tuemmier of Marysville-Pilchuck 6-0, 6-0 in the consolation final.
Hampton’s title along with the one win by doubles team of Tara Carrie and Kristina Metz allowed Skyview to place second to Kamiak in the team standings.
4A boys tennis
Skyview’s Kent Andreasen capped his high school career with a win over Union’s Alex Wallace before losing to Mitch Stewart of Federal Way in the final.
“Kent played some beautiful tennis today,” Ray said. “Jay Gowen, our boys coach, did a fantastic job getting him ready for this tournament. The highlight for Kent has to be the semifinal win over Alex, a kid he’s been battling for years. It was a great achievement.”
Andreasen escaped with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 victory over Wallace. But fell 6-3, 6-2 to Stewart, last year’s 4A runner-up.
“He played well in the final, but he went against a guy who is just crazy good,” Ray said of Stewart.
Wallace captured sixth place after a 6-2, 7-6 loss to Vicente Veras of Eastlake in the third-place match.
Clark County also added a finalist in boys doubles, as Union’s Mark Bright and Connor Horne beat Chris Lilley and Dylan Harlow of Newport 6-3, 6-7, 7-6 in a thrilling semifinal match. But defending 4A state champions Hunter Wood and John Stormans of Olympia were too tough in the final, winning 6-1, 6-2.