Patriot powers through KingCo tourney

May 20, 2014

By Christina Corrales-Toy

Jenny Adams takes second at KingCo tennis tournament

 

Jenny Adams, Liberty High School senior, volleys against Interlake’s Lina Larson during the first set of her 3A KingCo Championship tennis final May 15. By Greg Farrar

Jenny Adams, Liberty High School senior, volleys against Interlake’s Lina Larson during the first set of her 3A KingCo Championship tennis final May 15. By Greg Farrar

Liberty High School tennis player Jenny Adams is going solo this year.

Almost a year after she took second place in the state’s doubles tournament alongside Kristy Braunston, Adams delved into the 2014 postseason as a singles player.

The switch came with a few nerves, Liberty tennis coach Mike Salokas said, but you wouldn’t know it after Adams earned second place in the KingCo 3A tennis tournament May 15.

“Jenny was a little uncomfortable going into the KingCo tournament,” Salokas said. “Last year, she and Kristy Braunston teamed in doubles and had great success in the postseason.”

With Braunston now playing the sport at Bellevue College, Adams was on her own for her senior season. She certainly rose to the occasion, compiling an undefeated regular season, and earning the No. 1 seed at the KingCo tournament.

She opened day one of the tournament, held at Mercer Island High School, with a dominant 6-0, 6-2 victory over Bellevue’s Meredith Berry.

Adams dropped the first set in her next two matches, before coming back to win both of them. She defeated Mercer Island’s Melanie Lee, 1-6, 6-0, 6-2, in the quarterfinals, before besting the Islanders’ Sammy Sweet, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, in the semifinals.

The win over Sweet earned Adams a spot in the KingCo championship where, under an unforgiving sun and 80-degree temperatures, she matched up against Interlake’s Lina Larson.

Adams won the first set, 6-4, but Larson made a swift comeback, winning the next two, 6-4, 7-5, to capture the KingCo title.

“The match was very close,” Salokas said. “As I reflect today on that match, nothing stands out as a determining factor. Heat, fatigue, hydration were certainly influences but those conditions were present for both players. Jenny performed admirably and lost, is the best way I can put it.”

The Liberty senior now heads into the district tournament May 20-21 at Seattle’s Lower Woodland Park. As the No. 2 seed from KingCo, she gets a first-round bye. Results were not available at press time.

“Having earned the No. 2 and runner-up distinction aligns her well going into next week’s districts tournament,” Salokas said.

Before that, though, Salokas made sure he gave his star senior plenty of rest before the postseason continued, especially after enduring the heat and exhaustion of the May 14-15 tournament play.

“It was sunny and hot during KingCo and playing three, three-set matches over a two-day period was taxing on all players,” he said. “Taking the next three days off and getting some rest is the best thing she can do going into district play.”

The top five players from the district tournament will move on to state.

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