When a tennis champion is on her game, a third state title comes easy.
Skyview junior Sammi Hampton claimed her third consecutive Class 4A state singles title Saturday in Richland with a routine 6-1, 6-0 win over familiar foe Sabrina Demerath of Inglemoor.
“The three matches before the final I played good,” Hampton said. “The finals match was one of the best matches I have ever played. It was really good.”
It only got better for Greater St. Helens League players.
In the 4A doubles state final, Jen Lewis and Hannah Gianan of Camas won their third consecutive tournament over league rivals Jelena Vidovic and Sydney Wallace of Union.
Lewis and Gianan, the district and bi-district champs, prevailed 6-1, 7-6.
And in 3A singles, Prairie’s Akari Baba placed third after playing 5-plus hours of tennis over two matches Saturday.
Hampton, ranked second in girls 18s in the Pacific Northwest by the United States Tennis Association, had faced Demerath before in USTA leagues.
“Sabrina is a good player and we go back and forth in USTA leagues,” Hampton said. “I was just playing so good. Serving good with so many aces. I was able to move her around the court.”
This title for Hampton was completely different than her first two. Last year she played with a sore arm, and her first ... well ... she was just a freshman.
“Last year was probably the toughest out of the three,” she said. “The girl I was playing was really good and I didn’t think I was going to win. The first year, I was just really young.”
Hampton said that perhaps hitting the weight room will help her pursuit of a fourth title.
“I just need to keep improving on the physical end of it. Hitting the weights would probably help out with my power,” she said laughing.
This state tournament proved there’s a lot of tennis talent in Clark County.
Esther Kwon of Camas placed fifth with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Lauren Thornquist of Auburn.
Prairie’s Baba played three, three-set matches at state and fitness played a role in her success.
“Her outstanding conditioning enables her to go the distance while mentally and physically wearing down her opponent,” said Prairie coach Chris Lindquist.
Baba lost her semifinal match 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 and rebounded to win the third-place match 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. All totaled, about 5 hours and 10 minutes of playing time.
In the boys 3A tournament, Columbia River’s Dominik Gorecki placed eighth for the second year in a row. And teammates Lane Cooper and Ian David placed seventh in doubles.