By Keiona Trimmer - Staff Reporter
Megan Hagerty and Celeste Andreotti won the No. 1 doubles crown at the NWAC championships last weekend.
The Highline women's tennis team finished second overall in its first year of competition.
For the team's outstanding performance this season, Head Coach Laura Rosa was given the NWAC coach of the year award.
The ladies battled neck and neck with Bellevue all through the championships.
"Every single finals came down to Highline vs. Bellevue, and in the end Highline won four and Bellevue won five," said Coach Rosa.
No. 1 singles player Megan Hagerty defeated Charlie Newman from Skagit Valley 8-6 in her first match. In Hagerty's final singles match, she went out strong but couldn't finish with a win as she played against Moriah Austin from Bellevue College, losing 6-2, 6-7, 6-2. Hagerty placed second overall in the No. 1 singles.
"Megan Hagerty lost a heartbreaking final in the No. 1 position, but she was a class act and battled until the last point," said Coach Rosa.
"Nothing can take away from her performance all season. She was our leader both on and off the court, and will be missed tremendously as she moves on next year to NCAA D2 Cal State Stanislaus."
Kenzie Hawkins had a strong day, finishing as the No. 2 singles player.
In Hawkin's first match, she handily defeated Morgan McCarthy from Treasure Valley 8-1.
During Hawkin's second match, against Marissa Kirk from Bellevue, Hawkins gave her all, but unfortunately lost 7-5, 6-3.
No. 3 singles player Sierra Silva came out on top placing first. Silva didn't have to work too hard in her match against Miranda Jackson from Spokane, winning 8-1. Silvia had a 6-2, 6-0 sweep in her last match against Bellevue's No. 3 singles player ,Holly Wright.
Celeste Andreotti was the No. 4 singles champion. Andreotti won 8-1 in her first match against Brittany DeNike from Skagit Valley. In Andreotti's final match she dominated Kathleen Nolan from Bellevue, 6-0, 6-1.
No. 5 singles player Mary Ahmed placed second. During her first match Ahmed beat Jasmine Kinkead from Treasure Valley 8-5. Ahmed lost during her last match against Bellevue's Candice Canley, 7-5, 6-1.
"The match that stands out the most was the Championship for the No. 6 singles position," said Coach Rosa. "No. 6 finals was a grueling match that lasted over four hours."
Sammie McElwain won the championship. McElwain beat Gabriella Barin from Treasure Valley 8-1. Playing hard in her match against Ha Nguyen from Bellevue, Ahmed won 4-6, 7-5, 7-5.
"Sammie created a game plan and stuck with it with more stubbornness and tenacity than most people have the capacity for and ultimately came out victorious, " said Coach Rosa. " It was a phenomenal test of both physical and mental endurance."
Hagerty and Andreotti started off by facing Spokane's Kasey Irving and Miranda Jackson, beating the pair 8-0 in their first doubles match.
The ladies then finshed the the championships as they also finished off Austin and Kirk from Bellevue, 7-6, 6-3.
Coach Rosa said Hagerty and Andreotti came out confident and strong, which led to a great win.
Finishing as the Doubles Champions of the NWAC made her a very happy and proud coach.
Silva and Hawkins didn't quite win the championship for the No. 2 doubles matchup, but did claim second place. They went up against DeNike and Rinka Kawauchi from Skagit Valley, rolling the over in a 8-1 match.
Silva and Hawkins knew it was going to be tough facing Wright and Nolan from Bellevue.
The pair came out strong, but ended up losing 6-4, 6-3.
Highline's No. 3 doubles team started off strong in the beginning, but finished second, again losing to Bellevue. Ahmed and McElwain came out on top as they faced Treasure Valley's Kinkead and Taylor winning 8-0. The ladies then lost in a 6-2, 6-3 match against Canley and Takagi from Bellevue College.
"In the end we finished second in the NWAC, but as a coach I will remember this as a perfect season," said Coach Rosa. "As a coach there is no more I could have asked from this team than what they did at the NWAC Championships."
Coach Rosa also said that she will be looking at local high schools, who have just started post-season tournament play.
Rosa hopes to continue the T-Bird women's tennis legacy.
Rosa hopes to continue recruiting top players, to build on what was a historic season for Highline tennis.