Upsets galore in first day

PO’IPU — After making three consecutive state appearances with doubles partner, Tasha Haraguchi, unseeded Kapa’a senior Crystine Ito slammed down No. 2 seeded Cassady Sirois (Kaua’i) in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3, earning her a fourth straight state berth, but her first in singles.

“I just tried to put all the balls in play. I knew it was an important match, so I stayed more focused,” Ito said.

The 2006 KIF state qualifying matches, held at the Kiahuna Tennis Courts, yesterday, finishes up with all the semifinals, starting at 8 a.m., this morning.

Ito, who was forced to play singles this year because her doubles partner flew off to college, was a little upset when the seedings came out earlier this week.

Still undefeated this season, Ito wanted to attain at least one of the seeds, so she would be out of the way of Sirois and top seed teammate, Lyndsey Tom.

“I was a little disappointed not getting a seed, but it turned out really good for me,” Ito said.

Sirois, who utilized a strong arsenal of ground strokes, with a mix of volleying, was upended by Ito’s consistent play.

“She can do that all day long,” Kapa’a coach Jon Tom said referring to Ito’s ability to hit lob shots.

Also making it to states in girls singles were Kapa’a’s Lyndsey Tom, Waimea’s Sonya Tacub, and Kula’s Ariel Carlson.

Tom battles Tacub in one semifinal and Carlson takes on Ito in the other semifinal.

All but one seeded player made the state cut in boys singles, as Kula’s Kyle Barrett (No.1), Waimea’s Jake Anderson (No. 2), and Island’s Justin Vea (No. 2) moved into the semifinals.

Kapa’a’s Taylor Alfiler, who was unseeded, upset No. 3 seed Kollin Morikawa (Waimea), 6-3, 7-5.

Alfiler, who had to be helped off the court due to cramps after the last point, defeated Morikawa for the first time in three tries this season.

Barrett and Anderson face off this morning in one semifinal and Alfiler and Vea battle in the other match.

All four seeds stole the show in girls doubles, with Kaua’i’s Lezlie Tao/Megan Vento (No. 1), Waimea’s Tiffany Lum/Jenny Rumbaoa (No. 2), Kapa’a’s Kelli Okamoto/Mailika Napoleon (No. 3), and Kaua’i’s Jacey Ageno/Katie Anderson (No. 4) moved into the semifinals.

Tao/Vento take one Ageno/Anderson in the top part of the bracket and Okamoto/Napoleon joust against Lum/Rumbaoa in the lower half of the bracket.

In the longest match of the day between a set of teammates from Kapa’a, Matt Hanley/Kila Youn outlasted Danny Rodrick/Chris Ramelb, the second seed, 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 7-6 (9-7).

The emotional contest went down to the wire in a tie breaker in the third set. As soon as the last point was calculated, Ramelb dropped to the ground and burst into tears.

Ramelb and Rodrick took home a state berth last year, which was a surprise to many, but the duo managed to improve and held down a No. 2 seed.

Latif/Latif battle Nonaka/Tyler in one semifinal and Balocan/Inouye open up with Hanley/Youn.

Complete results of the first day of KIF tennis state qualifying action can be found in the scoreboard on page B2.

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