Perhaps the most surprising result from the 4A district boys tennis tournament Thursday was not who won the singles title, but who finished second.
Camas junior Akash Prasad beat teammate Shiva Narayanan, a sophomore, when Narayanan had to stop in the second set due to an ankle injury while trailing 6-0, 3-0 in the final at Vancouver Tennis Center.
Narayanan, seeded fifth, moved to the area with his family from India prior to the season and had only ever played on clay courts. The high school season is played on hard courts. And throw in that he sprained his ankle early in his semifinal win over No. 1 seed Naman Thawani, a senior from Union, only made his runner-up finish that much more incredible.
“I was very consistent and was trying to get into his head,” Narayanan said of his 6-3, 6-4 semifinal win. “I just kept calm and played the points out.”
Narayanan had his ankle wrapped for the final, but could not continue to the end.
It was a solid run for Prasad, the second seed, who will go to the 4A bi-district next week with the hopes of returning to the state tournament in May. He was part of the fourth-place doubles team at state last year.
“It’s more stressful, more challenging,” Prasad said of playing singles this season. “There are lots of really good players right now and I was able to squeeze past my semifinal match. So, it’s a nice feeling.”
Prasad beat No. 3 seed Jonathan Hutley of Skyview, the defending district champion, in the semifinals 6-2, 6-4.
Hutley, a senior, went on to place third to earn the No. 3 berth to bi-district by beating Thawani 6-0, 7-5.
The doubles final was also a one-school affair as defending champs Kyle Mosier and Jacob Flenke of Union beat teammates Brayden Shoemaker and Gabe Hapke in straight sets.
Mosier, a senior, and Flenke, a sophomore, were third at state last year. They will attempt to get back to the Tri-Cities in May at bi-district next weekend. The top seven singles and doubles players earn state berths.
“I’m really happy with how we are playing right now, super excited,” Mosier said. “We are just going to play our game.”
Both well-acquainted doubles teams hit their share of big shots to go with big rallies and lots of smiles on the court.
“We all had fun out here,” Flenke said. “No one lost.”
Camas doubles team of Jesse Kim and Sunny Wang placed third for the final bi-district berth.
Camas also came away with the team title, with Union finishing second and Skyview third.
4A DISTRICT TOURNAMENT
At Vancouver Tennis Center
Semifinals — Shiva Narayanan (Camas) def. Naman Thawani (Union) 6-3, 6-4; Akash Prasad (Camas) def. Jonathan Hutley (Skyview) 6-2, 6-4.
Final — Prasad def. Narayanan 6-0, 3-0 inj. default.
Consolation (loser out) — Kulbir Singh (Heritage) def. Peter Lin (Union) 6-2, 6-2; Brandon Mukensnabl (Skyview) def. Tim Muresan (Heritage) 6-2, 6-1; Thawani def. Singh, score not posted; Hutley def. Mukensnabl 6-0, 6-1.
Third place (winner to bi-district) — Hutley def. Thawani 6-0, 7-5.
Semifinals — Kyle Mosier/Jacob Flentke (Union) def. Jesse Kim/Sunny Wang (Camas) 6-2, 6-1; Brayden Shoemaker/Gabe Hapke (Union) def. Keagan O’leary/Henry Liles (Skyview) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.
Final — Mosier/Flentke def. Shoemaker/Hapke
Consolation (loser out) — Naoto Uemura/Matei Vitalaru-Moruz (Camas) def. Grant Goertzen/Nate Burbank (Union) 6-4, 2-6, 6-4; Xiang Liu/Julian McOmie (Camas) def. Noah Mariotti/Elias Martin (Skyview) 6-3, 3-6, 6-0; Kim/Wang def. Uemura/Vitalaru-Moruz 6-1, 6-4; O’leary/Liles def. Liu/McOmie 6-4, 7-6 (3).
Third-place (winner to bi-district) — Kim/Wang def. O’leary/Liles 6-0, 6-4.