Sports

Bremerton pairing survives first day

Jesse Beals/staff photo Maria Lafferty (right) tries to return the serve of Bellarmine’s Suzie Matzenauer during the Knights’ 6-0, 6-0 loss to the No. 1-seeded and state-title favorite Bellarmine duo. The Knights rebounded to a 7-5, 6-3 win over Mt. Tahoma however. - Photo by Jesse Beals
Jesse Beals/staff photo Maria Lafferty (right) tries to return the serve of Bellarmine’s Suzie Matzenauer during the Knights’ 6-0, 6-0 loss to the No. 1-seeded and state-title favorite Bellarmine duo. The Knights rebounded to a 7-5, 6-3 win over Mt. Tahoma however.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

TACOMA — Casey Marett and Maria Lafferty are two tennis players of few words.

But that didn’t stop them from battling the best and advancing to the second day of the Narrows League Tournament on Wednesday.

Heading in with the most difficult doubles draw possible, the Knights tandem faced first-round foes Suzie Matzenauer and Alita Fisher of Bellarmine Prep.

Matzenauer, the defending NL singles champ and runner-up at the state tourney, decided to team up with Fisher, part of Bellarmine’s three-straight state title doubles squad, forming one of the most power teams in high school tennis.

So what did Marett and Lafferty think of the match with the state-title favorites?

“It was like, so fun,” Lafferty said jokingly.

“We just tried to return (Matzenauer’s) serves,” Marett added.

The duo was wearing smiles at the end of the day despite falling 6-0, 6-0 to the Bellarmine squad, largely due to a strong performance in the consolation bracket, taking down Mt. Tahoma’s Alma Mendoza and Tanika Chongvilaiwan 7-5, 6-3.

The win kept the pairing alive as the consolation bracket continued Thursday and Friday at the University of Puget Sound. Results were unavailable at press time.

Bremerton coach Jeremy Monroe said he was pleased with the performance.

“We knew we’d have a really good chance to play (Thursday),” Monroe said. “That was kind of our goal.”

In their first match, the duo was overmatched as any Matzenauer/Fisher opponents have been this season. They did manage to score a handful of points, including one on a strong cross that got the fans in the stands cheering for the underdog.

Against Mendoza and Chongviliaiwan however, the Bremerton pairing mixed start, exchanging points in a close 7-5 first set. Lafferty and Marett buckled down in the second set however, jumping out to a quick 4-1 lead before finishing the match off 6-3.

As for upcoming matches, the squad said they’ll keep working on fundamentals.

“Just keep it in and get it over the net,” Marett said.

“And get our first serves in,” Lafferty added.

Thursday, the Bremerton duo took on the loser of a match between Gig Harbor’s Mali Byrnstad and Kaitlin Hildebrand and Bellarmine’s Erika Wilczek and Nicole Sager. Wilczek and Sager finished in fourth place at last year’s NL tourney.

But no matter who they play, Monroe said the team knows the toughest match is by them.

“It only gets easier from here,” Monroe said. “Our girls have a good perspective on it. They want to go out and compete. They want to show they belong here.”

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