South Kitsap TENNIS Invitational

Bremerton’s Casey Marett returns a serve last Saturday. Marett teamed up with fellow Knight Maria Lafferty to take second overall at the South Kitsap Invitational. - Photo by Jesse Beals
Bremerton’s Casey Marett returns a serve last Saturday. Marett teamed up with fellow Knight Maria Lafferty to take second overall at the South Kitsap Invitational.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

PORT ORCHARD — The Lady Knights did not have to do much to impress coach Jeremy Monroe at the Narrows League Tennis Invitational Saturday, April 22 at South Kitsap High School.

Monroe set the bar low and Bremerton cleared it nicely, finishing fifth among eight schools, led by the second-place finish of the doubles team of Maria Lafferty and Casey Marett.

“The team goal (was) not to be last,” Monroe said. “That’s where we’re at. Everybody’s got to get points for the team. We (did) all right. We won three of our six first-round matches, got number-one singles and number-one doubles into the semis and were competitive in two of the matches that we lost.”

The team got a nice boost from Lafferty and Marett, who overcame an Enumclaw pair that edged Olympic’s Jacqi Burton and Megan Hodun in the first round, in their semifinal in order to make their way to a match against Sachi and Katherine Sugimoto of Central Kitsap for the tournament title.

They might have faced the Trojans’ twosome instead of the Enumclaw girls if not for a slow start from Olympic’s players.

“It took us a while to get warmed up,” Hodun said.

“We started out slow and came back pretty strong,” Burton said. “They had their strategy down pretty well but we figured out where to place the ball (later on).”

The Trojans lost the match in a tie-breaker.

The Sugimotos defeated the Knights’ pair 6-2, 6-2 in the final but making it that far was a good sign for Bremerton, who has had its ups and downs this year. The Knights earned 17 points as a team, better than South Kitsap, North Mason and Olympic. Enumclaw gained 37 points to take the tournament title.

Getting the chance to face opposition from outside the Narrows League and get a preview for what is to come in the postseason was what had local coaches excited about the event.

“It’s one more chance to play the tougher teams,” said CK coach Ken Allen, whose team tied for third overall. “It kind of gives you a little snapshot and a feel for what’s on the outside of the league.”

Olympic coach Don Patraw, who organized the weekend event, agreed.

“It’s nice to get some experience playing teams from outside our league,” Patraw said. “It really gives you a heads-up for districts to see how those other schools are stacking up.”

The facility at South Kitsap lent itself well to a tournament of such size.

“With eight courts, it goes a lot faster,” Wolves coach Todd Olson said. “Otherwise, it’s impossible to get done in one day.”

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