Monday, September 20, 2021
Sept. 20, 2021

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Kabacy, Skyview repeat as 4A state tennis champs

B.G.’s Harlan 3rd in 4A singles; River’s Grisham third in 2A singles

By , Columbian sports staff

Not knowing how to lose when the going gets tough will usually yield a victory.

Or a state title. Or a couple of state titles.

Skyview senior Andrew Kabacy defended his Class 4A state singles title with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 victory over Clemente Varas of Eastlake of Sammamish on Saturday at Columbia Basin Racquet Club in Richland.

That win came on the heals of a semifinal victory over 4A Greater St. Helens League rival Gunner Harlan of Battle Ground, 6-3, 7-5.

“That match really helped me prepare for the final,” Kabacy said.

And facing an unknown opponent brings an added challenge.

“I just go in there expecting him to be the best and I have to be at the top of my game,” Kabacy said of playing Varas for the first time.

Skyview coach Jay Gowen said Kabacy was “pretty much locked in from the beginning.”

“I’ve never seen a kid who can take it to a new level when his back is to the wall,” Gowen said. “He just doesn’t know how to lose.”

After losing the second set, Kabacy said he used the break before the third set to refocus.

“I was a little frustrated. I realized I needed to have a good time out there,” he said. “I refocused and had a great time.”

Kabacy had a 5-2 lead in the third, lost the next two games, but then broke Varas’ serve to win the match.

The Storm also won the team title for the second consecutive year, thanks again to some key doubles points.

Skyview senior Chris Sheppert and junior Joey Gaylor placed sixth in doubles at Hanford High School in Richland. They lost in the semifinals to Alex and Andrew Boupharath of Kentwood 6-1, 6-2, and then lost in the fourth-place final to Kennedy Catholic’s Brendan Stoll and Hayden Wood 7-6 (5), 7-5.

“They had it tough today, but our doubles played great and put us in a great position,” Gowen said. “Back-to-back is pretty special.

“Last year was cool, kind of a surprise. This year we felt good about it coming in.”

Harlan, a senior, went on the place third in singles with a 7-5, 7-5 win over Colby Tong of Auburn Riverside. Harlan was fourth at state last year.

The last back-to-back 4A state singles champion was Mitch Stewart of Federal Way in 2012 and 2013. And the last repeat team champion was Newport of Bellevue, which won three titles from 2012 to 2014.

Columbia River junior Faith Grisham was unable to stop North Kitsap senior Danya Wallis’ run to a fourth consecutive 2A singles title.

Grisham lost to Wallis in the semifinals 6-3, 6-1 at the Nordstrom Tennis Center in Seattle, but rebounded to place third at state with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Marissa Nemeth of Olympic. (Wallis did indeed win her fourth title, 6-3, 6-1 over Anna Rios of Foster.)

Also in Seattle, Ridgefield senior Spencer Cultice placed sixth in 2A boys singles. He lost to Shane Lynette of Sehome 6-3, 6-1 in the semifinals, and then lost in the third-place match to Jared Kieser of Selah 6-2, 6-0.

Mountain View’s doubles team of Edmund Hsu and Vincent Hsu placed eighth in the 3A state doubles at Kennewick. They lost their final match to Aaron Yuan and Cole Blattner of Seattle Prep 6-2, 6-3.

In 2A doubles at Seattle, Washougal’s Rebecca Boylan and Beyonce Bea lost in the fourth-place semifinal 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 to W.F. West’s Megan Wilks and Mya Davis.