Overlake’s Maria Russinovich and Amanda Lin won the 1B/2B/1A state doubles title in Yakima. Courtesy of The Overlake School Twitter page

Overlake tennis duo nets state title

Overlake added a girls doubles tennis champion to its state list on Saturday.

The Owl duo of Amanda Lin/Maria Russinovich beat Okanogan’s team of Shelby Walker/Megan Patrick, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, at the 1B/2B/1A tournament in Yakima.

Russinovich felt the junior team was well prepared entering the final because they had seen their opponents play and knew what they were set to face.

The Owls rolled from the start.

“We were bringing out some good energy and after the first set, we were on a high,” Russinovich said.

However, Russinovich said the Owls’ mental game took a hit during the second set and they played timid. It came down to a third set for the state crown.

The Owls’ coaches got the girls back on board and offered advice about shot placement and more.

Overlake bounced ahead, 5-2, but dropped two points and were engaged in an intense match. With Russinovich serving at 5-4, she told Lin, “We are gonna fight this out. We’ve come this far and we’ve earned it.”

So, the Owls dug in and Lin powered a high forehand shot that fell at one of their foe’s feet and the title went to Overlake.

Russinovich said the Owls displayed “true grit” to win another battle — the most important one — this season.

In the semis on Saturday, the Owls beat Omak’s team of Alex O’Dell/Jennifer O’Dell, 6-2, 6-2.

To open the tourney on Friday, Overlake beat La Salle’s team of Laura Stewart/Lauren Roberts, 6-2, 7-5.

The Owls next played Three Rivers Christian’s team of Olivia Cathcart/Hanna Cathcart and won, 6-1, 6-3.

“It was a great weekend of high-level tennis and we found ourselves playing our best tennis of the season when it really counted. We were able to come out of this weekend as state champions,” said coach Jeff Loranger, who was joined by Eldar Dzhafarov and Nate Edmunds on the coaching staff.

Russinovich, a former No. 1 singles player, teamed up with Lin, a No. 1 doubles player, for the first time this season. Their coaches felt they’d be a good fit for each other and Russinovich said that was a good call on the coaches’ part. The girls have known each other since the sixth grade and they communicated well on the court five years later to bring a state title home to Overlake.

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