Doubles teams lead Lady Knights tennis into leagues

With the regular season a wrap, the Bremerton girls tennis team is ready for today’s Class 3A Olympic League Tournament.

The Lady Knights have three doubles teams and three singles players in the tournament, which grants district tournament berths to the top two doubles and singles finishers.

First-year coach Casey Lindberg said Wednesday he’s “pretty happy with the way it’s looking,” adding a few of his hitters have a shot to qualify for districts, particularly on the doubles side.

“The doubles division is going to be loaded up, it will be a good tournament,” Lindberg said. “I’m really happy with the way the brackets turned out because there’s the potential that our top two doubles teams could end up playing each other in the end.”

For that to happen, Megan Arriola and Sarah Streutker — the No. 2 overall doubles seed — and the unseeded team of Courtney Wasserburger and Breanna Casias would have to win their respective sides of the bracket, setting up what would be an all-Bremerton doubles final.

Seeded teams receive a first-round bye, while unseeded teams open with a loser-out match.

“We’re in a good situation because both of our doubles teams are pretty good,” Lindberg said. “Will they make it to the finals? I don’t know, but I like our chances.”

Streutker and Arriola played together the entire season, piling up a 9-2 record. One of those losses, however, was to North Kitsap’s Krista Vestman and Darlene Dang, the tournament’s No. 1-seeded doubles tandem.

Casias and Wasserburger, who played No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively, during the regular season, would face Vestman and Dang in the semifinals if both duos were to win their quarterfinals matches.

Interestingly, Casias defeated Dang 6-1, 6-2 and Wasserburger defeated Vestman 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 in singles action April 8 in BHS 4-3 loss against the Vikings.

“We have a chance, that’s what I like,” Lindberg said.

Streutker/Arriola and Wasserburger/Casias hit against each other in practice, Lindberg said, although rain forced Lindberg to cancel practice Tuesday.

“They play each other and push each other pretty well,” Lindberg said of the doubles teams. “I have a couple different people that come in and hit with them to push them a little so they’re not just going through the motions ... it works out pretty well.”

Celine Torrella and Jasmine Battle are BHS’ third doubles team — they are unseeded as well — and will face Olympic’s Jessica McMullen and Christine Garcia in the first round.

Ahria Fosdyck, Callie Wilson, who saw significant action at doubles during the regular season, and Nikolina Vrklijan comprise the Lady Knights’ singles players. Lindberg said Vrklijan, a foreign exchange student from Croatia, should hold her own on her side of the bracket, despite having missed about half the team’s matches. She has a first-round bye.

“She’s good,” Lindberg said. “I think she has a really good chance to make it to districts.”

The tournament begins at 8:30 a.m. at North Kitsap High School. It is a two-day event, with championship matches scheduled for Saturday at time to be determined.

The Olympic League is a combined Class 3A and Class 2A league, meaning there is a 3A tournament as well as a 2A tournament. The 2A tournament also is Friday, but it is at Bremerton High School.

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