As the defending Class 4A singles champion, Hailey Kerker does not want to get too far ahead of herself as she enters her second postseason of high school tennis.
“I’m just going to take it one match at a time,” the Camas sophomore said. “Last year was my first time, so I didn’t know what to expect. This year, I have a little bit of perspective. But my thing is to just take it one match at a time and see how it goes.”
That strategy served Kerker well at the 4A district tournament as she dropped just seven games on her way to the singles championship, finishing it off with a 6-1, 6-0 win over teammate Joy Young in the finals Saturday at Club Green Meadows.
Kerker said she was not thinking about next week’s bi-district tournament in Kent or the 4A state tournament in two weeks in the Tri-Cities.
Coming off some tough matches last week at the Curtis Invitational in Tacoma, Kerker knows there are tougher opponents ahead.
Kerker played two matches at that event and both had to be decided by a tiebreaker after splitting two sets.
“I’ve coached her for two years, and that was the first time I’ve ever seen her drop a set,” Camas coach Jonathan Burton said.
But Kerker enjoyed the matches against Lucia Moravek of Bellarmine Prep and Misako Wongpa of Hazen.
“I know those girls (through) playing club, so it was nice playing them,” Kerker said. “They were really good competition. It was fun having those close matches.”
While Hazen is a 3A school, Kerker will likely see Moravek again in next week’s bi-district tournament. Moravek is a junior, but did not play in the 4A state tournament last year.
That’s why Kerker is taking nothing for granted.
“If I look ahead, then I’ll lose,” she said.
The district championship matches Saturday felt like a Camas team scrimmage as the Papermakers captured the team title.
The doubles championship was a Camas-vs.-Camas matchup with No. 1 seed Taryn Kerker and Fiona Zou beat teammates Sophia Rundle and Lena Trieu 6-2, 6-2.
Rundle and Trieu were a surprise finalist entry, advancing all the way from the No. 9 seed.
Over at Vancouver Tennis Center, Prairie’s Elsa Bice did not drop a set on her way to winning the 3A district singles title with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Susan Hong of Mountain View.
Playing with a new partner, Mountain View’s Lexi Frost won a second district doubles title, teaming up this time with Brynn DeSantis to beat Amelia Nelson and Hollyn Anderson of Prairie 6-2, 6-3 in the championship match.
Mountain View captured the team title.