Federal Way tennis remains atop SPSL

The Federal Way girls tennis team remained undefeated with a 4-1 win over Jefferson on Thursday.

“Their top three are better than anybody I’ve got,” Jefferson coach Andrew Buchan said. “Our numbers one through 15 are all about the same. For us to beat people, we have to play really well.”

Federal Way won both singles matches: Clara Sacristan defeated Katie Schultz 6-0, 6-0. Danielle Yellam defeated Natalia Goding 6-2, 7-6 (7-4).

In No. 1 doubles, Federal Way’s Debbie Raghubeer and Kristen Yates defeated Jefferson’s Jessiye Clark and Twila Moss 6-3, 6-3. Anne Tran and Elise Vaughn(FW) def. Michelle Morse and Amanda Foster 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 in the No. 3 doubles match.

Jefferson’s only win came in the No. 2 doubles match when Faye Lai and Mitzi Moore beat Tara Byrne and Ashley Dukehart 6-4, 6-0.

The Federal Way versus Jefferson tennis match was supposed to be the first match of the season, but had been postponed due to rain four times. Thursday’s sunshine finally allowed the games to go on.

Decatur 3, Jefferson 2

On Wednesday, the Decatur girls tennis team won both singles matches and the No. 1 doubles match to beat Jefferson 3-2 at Decatur.

The No. 1 doubles match was the deciding factor as Decatur’s Francesca Dedaj and Suzanne Hitztaler defeated Katie Shultz and Kristin Woller 7-6 (7-4), 6-1.

“It feels good,” Dedaj said. “They are one of the stronger teams we have played.”

It’s the second match Dedaj and Hitztaler have played together. They’ve won both so far.

“I think we’ll be competing together more this season,” Hitztaler said. “We’re on the same mental level.”

Decatur swept the singles matches, with senior Monica Loera-Sanchez defeating Faye Lai 6-1, 6-1.

It was the first win of the season for Loera-Sanchez, who has been playing against some of the best tennis players in the South Puget Sound League.

“I’ve played better people this year,” Loera-Sanchez said. “I need to keep my game up to par with them. I’m definitely going for distircts and pushing more to get to state this year.”

Loera-Sanchez, with Dedaj and Hitztaler, are the only three seniors on Decatur’s team. The three have been pushed into more of a leadership role this season.

“I was always the young one,” Loera-Sanchez said. “I’m totalling enjoying (being in a leadership role). We’re trying to make more of a team out of it this year than it ever has been.”

That has helped Decatur’s younger players improve as the season goes along.

One example is Decatur’s Jamie Chan, a ninth-grader who defeated Natalia Goding 6-3, 6-2 on Wednesday.

“We’re green, but we’ll survive,” said Decatur coach Steve Escame.

Jefferson’s two victories came in the doubles matches. Jefferson seniors Jessiye Clark and Twila Moss defeated Decatur juniors Amanda Chraca and Julie Eubanks 6-0, 6-1 at No. 2 doubles. Jefferson junior Killian Lange teamed up with senior Shannon Morse to defeat Decatur sophomores Jill Yotz and Amanda Font 7-5, 7-5 at No. 3 doubles.

Decatur improved its record to 2-2 with the win.

“We got off to a rough start, but now we’re doing better,” Dedaj said.

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