Kabacy, Union doubles win 4A state tennis titles

Gianan finishes runner-up in 4A girls singles

By Jeff Klein, Columbian sports staff

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Skyview junior Andrew Kabacy came into the WIAA state tennis tournament for a third time, seeking his first state match victory.

He left his third tournament with four wins and a state title.

Kabacy pulled out two comeback three-set victories Saturday to win the title, and help the Storm also win its first boys team title.

Kabacy defeated Kyle Fager of Lewis & Clark 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (5) in the semifinals, and then Derek Chao of Issaquah 2-6, 6-1, 6-1 in the final.

Both times after losing the first set, Kabacy just told himself he didn’t want to lose.

“I just willed myself to power through,” he said. “I starting going for more, hitting my shots in and hitting better.”

The third-set tiebreaker of the semifinal went back-and-forth with Kabacy leading 4-3, then down 5-4 before he won the last three points in a row.

The final was similar as Kabacy dropped the first set and had to rally.

“I just had to start over,” he said. “I started getting balls in and forcing errors out of (Chao) first. I also came to the net and had success doing that.”

Kabacy’s title plus two points from doubles team Chris Sheppert and Joey Gaylor on Friday put the Storm over the top in the team standings. Skyview had 13 points, Newport 12, and Union was third with 11.

Skyview coach Jay Gowen said the key to the team title came in doubles, and he didn’t mention to Kabacy the team title was on the line prior to the singles finals.

“You should’ve seen (Kabacy’s) face light up when he heard the team won the team title. He got so emotional,” Gowen said. “That was more important to him and emotional than winning the singles title on his own.”

Gowen gave big credit to Sheppert and Gaylor for coming back after a first-round loss Friday to win their consolation match and getting two team points.

“That ultimately made the difference,” Gowen said. “That was huge for them and for us as a team. Couldn’t have done it without my boys doubles team.”

The doubles success didn’t end there for GSHL players.

It was also a big day for Union as senior Andrew Chanthavong and junior Alex Calpagiu won the 4A doubles title, winning two three-set matches.

The Union duo beat a team from Richland in the semifinals 6-4, 1-6, 7-5, and then defeated a team from Mead in the final 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.

Battle Ground’s Gunner Harlan placed fourth in singles, winning his last match 6-1, 6-2 over Anuj Vlmawala of Jackson.

Camas senior Hannah Gianan completed her tennis career with a second consecutive second-place 4A singles medal.

Gianan, runner-up last year after winning state doubles titles as a freshman and sophomore, lost in the final to Jade Lancaster of Sumner 6-2, 6-0. Gianan reached the final with a 6-0, 6-3 semifinal win over Teagan Mach of Newport.

In 4A doubles, Union’s team of Nicole Knudtson and Elysha Fu placed third. They lost their semifinal 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 to a team from Newport, and then beat a team from Ferris 6-3, 4-6, 7-5.

Skyview’s team of Sarah Morgan and Karly Metz placed eighth.

At the 2A tournament in Seattle, Columbia River’s Faith Grisham placed fourth in singles, winning her placing match over Kassidee Beuse of Sedro-Woolley 6-3, 6-4.

Washougal’s Soeren Serve placed fifth. He won his placing match 6-2, 7-6 (4) over Michael Manlon of East Valley-Yakima.