All-Region girls tennis: Golden finish for Skyview's Sammi Hampton

Skyview junior didn't drop point in final set of season

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It takes winning at least 24 points to win a set in tennis.

What made Sammi Hampton's 24 points unique in her Class 4A state semifinal match against Garfield's Fiona Cerf is that they came consecutively.

Simply put — a Golden Set.

All-Region girls tennis team

Player of the year

SAMMI HAMPTON, JR., SKYVIEW

Won her third consecutive 4A state singles title in addition to bi-district and district tournaments. Undefeated in high school career.

Rest of All-Region team

JEN LEWIS, JR., CAMAS: Won 4A state doubles title with Hannah Gianan. Also won bi-district and district doubles titles.

HANNAH GIANAN, FR., CAMAS: Won 4A state doubles title with Jen Lewis. Also won bi-district and district doubles titles.

JELENA VIDOVIC, SR., UNION: Runner-up at 4A state doubles with Sydney Wallace. Also runner-up at bi-district and district.

SYDNEY WALLACE, SO., UNION: Runner-up at 4A state doubles with Jelena Vidovic. Also runner-up at bi-district and district.

AKARI BABA, JR., PRAIRIE: Placed third at 3A state tournament in singles. Won bi-district and district singles titles. 3A GSHL player of the year.

ESTHER KWON, JR., CAMAS: Placed fifth at 3A state tournament in singles. Second at bi-district and district tournaments. 3A GSHL all-league.

"In the second set, I was up like 3-0 and got up 30-love and I was like 'I haven't lost a point,' " Hampton said. "I kept going and I still hadn't lost a point.

"Toward the end of the second set I was amped up. It's very hard to get a golden set, even against someone who is not that good, and (Cerf) was good. I was really excited."

Hampton had achieved what only few tennis players have experienced in competition (only five professionals ever have) winning 24 consecutive points to take the second set and the match 6-1, 6-0 on her way to a third consecutive Class 4A state singles title.

The Skyview junior is also collecting her third consecutive All-Region girls tennis player of the year honor.

And the rare tennis air of a Golden Set may only be a sign of bigger things.

Hampton has yet to lose a high school tennis match. Only two other players in WIAA history have won three consecutive 4A state titles and only one has won all four years. In fact, there have been just three four-time WIAA girls state singles champs over all classifications.

When it comes to being on the court, Hampton said she doesn't feel the pressure, even when thinking of the possibilities of her senior year.

"I'm sure at the beginning of the year, I probably won't feel the pressure," Hampton said. "But then like this year I'll get to district and I'll feel pressure. And then I'll get to regionals and then when state comes I'll be like 'Oh, I have to win!'

"Off the court I feel I'm nervous and feel a little bit of pressure. But on the court I don't feel pressure at all. I just relax on court."

Hampton played a near perfect state tournament, dropping just seven games over the course of her four matches. The golden set help propel her to the championship match.

Hampton's opponent in that semifinal was a state champion the year before in doubles. And, like a bowler on the verge of a 300 game, getting the last point of the golden set was close.

"She hit a ball that was probably out, but I called 'in' and my next shot was like an inch in," Hampton said. "It was so close! If that didn't go in I wouldn't have had a golden set. And on the last point, too!

"It was pretty cool."

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MORE Q&A: Visit the high school blog for more insight into the All-Region tennis players of the year.

VIEW INTO PAST: Look at past winners of this honor, and other sports to by clicking here.