Eastlake wins epic battle over Skyline in girls tennis

April 28, 2009

By Christopher Huber

Alisa VanGrunsven, a Skyline freshman, returns a volley from Eastlake’s Chelsa Tsuji in their tennis match. By Christopher Hube

Alisa VanGrunsven, a Skyline freshman, returns a volley from Eastlake’s Chelsa Tsuji in their tennis match. By Christopher Hube

It came down to the battle of the Kristins in girls tennis April 23 at Eastlake High School. 

The three-set No. 3 singles match between Skyline’s Kristin Klein and Eastlake’s Kristin Dorr lasted more than two and a half hours and was the deciding match in what would be a 7-2 Eastlake victory.After Eastlake went up 4-2 in the meet, the two girls battled through a second-set tiebreaker, which Klein won 7-6 (7-5). But Dorr eventually fought back in the third to win 6-1 and tip the scales for an Eastlake win.

“That put us over,” said Eastlake coach Bud Peterson. “For a long while, the match was hanging in the balance. It was a very competitive match. Both teams were keyed up for each other.”

The loss put Skyline at a record of 4-2 overall (2-2 league) and Eastlake improved to 8-0 overall. 

“Basically, Eastlake is stronger. They’re playing at a different level than Skyline right now,” said Skyline coach Bettina Gehle. 

The No. 1 singles match added to the action-filled cross-town meet, as well. Skyline’s Alisa VanGrunsven, previously undefeated, put up a fight against Eastlake’s Chelsa Tsuji, but eventually fell 5-7, 4-6. 

Tsuji showed good composure throughout the match, often frustrating VanGrunsven with well-placed shots. 

“It was really fun playing Alisa. She’s a really good player,” Tsuji said after the match. “Every point went to deuce. This was one of the tougher ones.”

Tsuji improved to 8-0 on the season.

“Chelsa has really come into her own as a tennis player this year. She’s matured. She comes to a match and knows what she needs to do,” Peterson said. “I was really proud of her. The first set was a little tight, but when she found it, that was the end of it. In the second set, she took control.”

VanGrunsven led 5-4 in the first set and looked like she would take it, but Tsuji battled back to win. VanGrunsven gave up important points on underpowered return shots into the net.

“I think I was having an off day,” VanGrunsven said after the match. “I couldn’t control my shots and I let my emotions get to me.”

Eastlake’s Melanie Wang defeated Skyline’s Kelly Boudwin 6-3, 6-2 in No. 2 singles action. Olivia Salak (No. 5 singles) defeated Skyline’s Kristin Park 6-1, 6-2 and Eastlake’s Tiffany Du beat Morganne Hatfield 7-6 (8-6), 6-3. 

“This is a good experience this year to know where they stand and what they need to work on,” Gehle said.  

Reach Reporter Christopher Huber at 392-6434, ext. 242, or chuber@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.sammamishreview.com. 

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