Seeded tennis players advance to state tournament

PO‘IPU — Top seeds in the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation qualitying tennis tournament will be representing the KIF at the Carlsmith Ball Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association state tennis championships on O‘ahu.

Lani-Rae Green, top-seeded in the Girls Singles division will be joined by fellow Waimea player Brittney Barreira, the No. 2 seed in the division.

Green, finishing with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Barreira Friday morning at the Kiahuna Tennis Club, had not allowed a single set until meeting Barreira.

She opened with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Cassidy Yatsko of Kapa‘a to advance and defeat No. 4 Casey Nakamura, another Warrior player who advanced following a default win over Island School.

Green took Casey Nakamura, 6-0, 6-0 to advance to the finals where she met Barreira.

The No. 2 seed opened with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Sachi de Treaux of Island School, Thursday, advancing to the semis where she met No. 3 seed April Oo, also of Island School who earlier had handed Waimea’s Mary Yasay a 6-1, 6-0 loss.

Barreira advanced to the finals after getting past Oo, 6-3, 6-3, Thursday afternoon.

Joining Green and Barreira, Waimea will also be sending the No. 2 seed in the Girls Doubles and the No. 2 seed in the Boys Singles to the state finals.

Christopher Ajimura, the Boys No. 2 Singles, fell to Island School’s Ryan Perez, Friday, 4-6, 4-6.

“Ryan not only played some strong tennis, Thursday, he ran in the KIF Qualifying Track Meet No. 6 and earned a personal best time in the Boys 3000 Meter Run,” said Ernie Blachowiak, coach for the Island School tennis program. “He’s back this morning and won the Boys Singles.”

Perez opened against fellow Voyager Garett Beyer, Thursday, Beyer advancing following a 6-0, 6-0 win over Kapa‘a’s Jonathan Obiano, 6-0, 6-0.

Perez prevailed against Beyer, 6-2, 7-5 to meet No. 4 seed, Bradley Cano of Waimea and worked three sets to finally advance, 5-7, 6-0, 10-8, to the finals.

Cano defeated Kapa‘a’s Kalani Murakami, 7-5, 6-1 to meet up with Perez.

Waimea’s Kaleo Hauata upset Kapa‘a’s Kai Harrison, the No. 3 seed in Boys Singles, Thursday, 6-3, 6-4, but could not get past Cano.

Cano, opening with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Island School’s Dylan Morrison-Fogel, advanced to meet Perez following a 6-2, 6-3 win over Hauata.

In the finals, Perez topped the field following a 6-4, 6-4 win over Ajimura, the match being closely followed by fans.

Following the match, Perez said he was stoked.

“I think playing four hours of hard tennis before running the 3000 Meter really helped me run,” Perez said. “When I found out the time was a personal best, I was really stoked.”

Waimea’s final representation is the team of Rachel Umetsu and Annalisa Hartsell, seeded No. 2 in the Girls Doubles.

The top seed team of Kaua‘i’s Jennifer Grady and Shay Orial beat the No. 3 seed, a Kaua‘i team of Shay’s sister Tarryn Orial and Noe Murray, to meet the Waimea team in a court where tricky winds blanketed the action.

With a strong showing of fan support, the Kaua‘i team of Grady and Shay got past Umetsu and Hartsell, 6-1, 6-4 in the finals, Kaua‘i coach Charles Fuch silently counting down the points and erupting with a silent clenched-fist “Yes!” following the final point.

“I think Jennifer has an easier time playing singles,” said Cheryl Grady, Jennifer’s mother who arrived at Kiahuna after phoning her husband Russell who helps with the coaching. “When she plays singles, she only has to worry about herself.”

The Grady-Shay duo advanced following a 6-1, 6-0 win over Kelena Wong and Margo Latif of Island School who had earlier gotten past the Kapa‘a team of Amber Diaz and Franses May Nono, 6-2, 6-1.

The Murray-Tarryn duo, No. 3 seed in Girls Doubles, advanced to meet its Red Raider team following a 6-3, 6-1 win over the Kapa‘a team of Karalee Higa and Taylor Anama, the Warriors defeating the Island School pair of Alyssa Medd and Whitney Summerhays, 6-0, 7-5 to advance.

Umetsu and Hartsell pulled extra duty, Friday, playing the Menehune team of Shaylyn Jim and Caylee Yamamoto, prior to the finals of the Girls Doubles.

The Jim-Yamamoto duo opened with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Madison Moore and Katy Davidson of Island School and advanced to the semis with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Kapa‘a’s B- Khae-Chawat Saowaiak and Kaylie Nakamura, No. 4 seed in the division.

Umetsu and Hartsell took three sets to open against fellow Menehune Shantel Rita and Kaycee San Agustin-Nordmeier, 6-0, 4-6, 10-5, the Rita-San Agustin-Nordmeier team advancing to meet the No. 2 seed following its 6-0, 6-0 win over Kaua‘i’s Marieas Bersamira and D. Layaoen.

Friday morning, Umetsu and Hartsell advanced to the finals with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Jim and Yamamoto.

The Carlsmith Ball Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association State Tennis Championships will play May 3 to 5 at the Central O‘ahu Regional Park.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.

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