Sports

Porter makes it to second day at state tournament

Freshman goes 2-2 in her first ever trip through the girls’ singles bracket.

Grace Porter played well at the 3A state tennis tournament at the Tri-City Court Club in Kennewick last weekend, winning two matches and losing two as she just missed out on a medal.

Head coach Mike Anderson said she did well in her first appearance at the state tournament.

“Playing for your high school team is a lot different than playing in a USTA tournament,” he said. “There, you’re just by yourself, whereas when you play for your high school team, you have teammates and coaches that are pulling for you, so that stuff can lead to a little bit more pressure.”

In her first match against Christina Le from Union, a brand-new high school located in Vancouver, Porter lost 6-4, 6-2.

“Christina played a good match,” Anderson said. “She played mostly error free.

“Grace had some chances to win the first set – she was ahead 3-2 at one point – so I kind of felt if she won the first set, she would win the match,” he continued. “But Christina won by not making errors.”

Le went on to take third place overall.

Porter rebounded to defeat Bremerton’s Sandy Schmidt 6-2, 6-4 and Kennewick’s Nele Zorn 6-2, 6-3 in consolation matches to move onto the second day.

There, she ran into an old rival in Holy Names’ Rachel Storz, who beat her 6-3, 6-0 to eliminate her from the tournament.

“The first set was closer than the score indicates,” Anderson said. “But I think Rachel really turned it up in the second set and played really well.”

Storz went on to take sixth place.

Despite just missing out on a medal, Anderson said Porter made a good showing battling through the consolation round in her first time at state to try and earn a place at state.

“It’s very difficult to do,” he said of coming through the consolation round to try and place. “If you lose in the first round, you have to win three straight matches to get a medal. It’s a long uphill road.

“She did a good job in those three matches,” Anderson continued. “She was a little tired and a bit sore – she had some upper arm fatigue from so much use.

“Plus, getting ready for a match at 8:30 a.m. after a long day was a little rough.”

Anderson estimates it’s the first time in his tenure at Bainbridge that a freshman has qualified in the singles bracket.

Previously, the freshmen that had made it were in doubles.

“Grace takes a lot of good experience from this heading into next year,” he said. “Winning two matches is excellent.

“The top six girls are really good,” Anderson continued. “If you look at the top eight girls, Grace is in there too. All of them are really tough and most of them are back again (next year).”

Despite coming up short, Anderson said he believes this will serve as a stepping stone to bigger and better things in her future at Bainbridge.

“Sometimes when you have a tournament like that you see in certain parts of a match how small things can turn (into a) bigger (problem),” he said. “You can use those (situations) for next year to be able to get back there (to state) again.”

Porter finishes at 25-5.

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