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Overlake girls' tennis nets state championship: Robins, Roush sisters take titles
The Overlake School's Lana Robins was the definition of dominance as the Owls edged Charles Wright, 20-17, to claim the Class 1B/2B/1A state team title last weekend in Yakima.
Robins, last year's third place state finisher, won three of her four matches via 6-0, 6-0 sweeps, including the title match against Brittany Webster of Brewster.
The only opponent to win games off Robins was Leah Newell of Cascade, who fell 6-2, 6-1 in the semifinal.
"She worked on minimizing her mistakes, and playing a diverse game, mixing up her shots," said Overlake girls' head coach Jim Uyesugi on Robins' approach going into state. "Last year was a totally different story with the competition at state, but this season it was quite a bit easier for her."
Robins, only a sophomore, will have two more chances to defend her state title.
According to her coach, her work ethic on the court and in the classroom will help her accomplish just that.
"I totally appreciate how hard she works on a daily basis," Uyesugi said. "Not just to do well in tennis, but her academics are the same way. She doesn't accept anything less than perfect, and I really admire that about her."
ROUSH THE NET
Robins wasn't the only Owl to taste state glory. The sister act of Stephanie and Caroline Roush won a state title in doubles action.
They may not have been the strongest team in the state field, but the sisterly duo peaked at the right time, fought through tough matches and earned a state championship after defeating Sara Finkleman and Megan Kelley of Charles Wright Academy 6-4, 6-2 in the finals.
"Throughout the season, their main focus was learning how to work together as a team... what I really appreciated at state was their ability to focus on playing against their opponents' weaknesses," explained Uyesugi. "That's what won the tournament for them this year."
After two relatively easy straight-set wins in the opening rounds 6-4, 6-2 and 6-1, 6-4, the sisters faced their first bit of adversity against another tough Charles Wright duo of Sarah Johnson and Sarika Halarnaka, losing a hard-fought first set 4-6.
Undeterred, the sisters battled back and took the next two sets 6-4, 6-3 to advance to the finals.
When asked if he thought going into Yakima that both of his entrants could potentially win, Uyesugi wasn't afraid to admit that he thought Robins and the Roush team could easily go wire-to-wire.
"We did envision it," he said. "You could see them building throughout the whole season, and not just as individuals or doubles partners, but all together. (Things like) the support they got from their teammates through text messages, it was a team effort to make it all the way."
BOYS BRING HOME HARDWARE
The Overlake boys' team also performed well in Yakima, with singles player Trym Torvund placing second and the doubles team of Trevor Partington and Marcus Munoz, who did the unthinkable – driving 150 miles and also playing in their 1A state soccer championship match later in the day in Sumner — placed sixth.
Torvund was never really challenged in his route to the championship match, beating Lee Leavell from Tonasket and La Salle's Seth Gibbons 6-2, 6-1 before routing Tyler Hendrick of Omak 6-0, 6-2.
In the finals against Cascade Christian junior Nathan Anderson — who finished second last year to Bear Creek's Jake Imam — Torvund was outmatched 6-1, 6-4.
In doubles action, Partington and Munoz fell in the second round in a tightly contested 7-6, 6-7, 6-0 match against Matt Taylor and Cody Schmidt of Cashmere, and came back to win another three-set thriller 5-7, 7-5, 6-4 later in the day to advance to Saturday's play.
On Saturday, the pair opened up in the consolation bracket semifinal with a 6-1, 6-4 win over a pair from Liberty Bell. In the 4th/6th place game against Bradley Fox and Jannik Malthaler of Connell, Partington and Munoz put up a fight in a 6-1, 7-6, 6-1 three-set loss.
In the team standings, Overlake placed second overall with 14 team points behind Charles Wright, who won with 18.
To view and/or purchase photos from the 1B/2B/1A state tennis championships, visit photographer Ken Gray's Web site here: