Spartans advance eight to state finals

Maybe it was the sleepy Saturday morning ferry ride, or it might have been the snug blanket of gray clouds over Lower Woodland Park.

Maybe it was just extreme relaxation.

Whatever it was, Bainbridge sophomore Whitney Cheng couldn’t help but stifle a yawn before the start of her first Metro Individual Tournament match against Blanchet’s Christina Papasedero.

Cheng dispatched Papasedero 6-0, 6-1, with almost indifferent -- albeit effective -- ease in what looked like a practice match.

Papasedero might have thought otherwise, as she chased Cheng’s well-placed winners all over the Lower Woodland court.

The second match of the day looked like a repeat of the first, with Cheng downing Seattle Prep’s Caitlin O’Keefe 6-0, 6-1.

Monday’s semifinals against Prep’s third-ranked Kara Mooney ended, again, with similar results -- a 6-4, 6-1 straight-set victory that places Cheng in the final tournament round today against West Seattle’s No. 1 seed Melinda Wong.

“Kara beat Whitney last year at Districts, but Whitney really has her number this year,” coach Mike Andersons said. “She’s in a great position, and has a really good shot at advancing to state.”

The doubles pairing of Amanda Allender and Maggie Fick continued their success with decisive second-round and quarterfinals wins, but eventually fell to Prep’s No. 1 tandem of Cook/Coakley in Monday’s semifinals. The team will play today for third place.

Gwen Gottlieb and Jocelyn Moody play McDaniel/Gormley of Holy Names for seventh place in girls doubles finals.

Mixed doubles players Tessa Quigley and Jake Kanev started off strong by blanking Cleveland in quick sets, but the Prep duo of Brown/Pleas stopped them with 6-4, 6-2 losses.

Quigley and Kanev will play for third place this afternoon.

Boys singles players Sam Marshall and Daniel Donahue also came out blazing Saturday, defeating their second round opponents in straight sets.

But the quarterfinals proved to be a bit more difficult, with both Spartans deferring to Seattle Prep players. Marshall lost 6-4, 7-5 to James Ebberson, and Donahue fell to Brett Blasingame 6-0, 6-1.

“Boys districts has been traditionally tough -- all five spots that went to state last year were from Metro,” said Anderson.

Marshall qualified for the district tournament with Monday’s win over Matt Washington, and will play Blanchet’s Kevin Codd today for fifth place.

The top seven in each Metro tournament category, with the exception of mixed doubles, will advance to the District Tournament May 20-22.

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