That was the rallying cry for the Thomas Jefferson girls tennis team at the WIAA 4A girls tennis state tournament last weekend in Pasco.
When TJ went to state as the West Central District champions, and perennial powerhouses such as Newport wanted to take the top title away from TJ, the Raiders’ response was simple: “Not today.”
Ultimately, Thomas Jefferson won the state title by the slimmest of margins — one point — over Lewis and Clark, the top team from Eastern Washington.
This was the first state title for Thomas Jefferson tennis head coach Andrew Buchan.
TJ’s Mia Rosa and Ally Peterson started the weekend out with a huge upset in a round one of doubles.
Their opponent Newport had placed second in state the year before but lat Friday, TJ was slightly better saying “not today” to their opponents with a 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 victory.
Meanwhile, TJ’s Nancy Cabanas overcame a slow start in round one of singles and defeated Eastlake freshman Matilde Veras 7-6, 6-1.
In the quarterfinals, Rosa and Peterson overcame Hanford 6-2, 6-2 on their home courts while Cabanas punished former doubles state champion Brooke Fager from Lewis and Clark 6-3, 6-1.
The second day of the tournament did not go so well for the Raider doubles team as they lost both their matches, but with their tremendous showing on day one, Rosa and Peterson still finished with sixth place medals and critical team points.
Cabanas drew Sumner’s Jade Lancaster, two-time state champion, in the semifinals.
Lancaster had defeated Cabanas just one week earlier in the district tournament and had never lost a semifinal match.
But on this occasion, Cabanas said “not today,” and won 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 to advance to the final.
In the final, Kentwood’s Erika Ito outlasted Cabanas 6-4, 5-7, 6-2 giving Cabanas a second-place finish at state. This is the highest finish ever for a singles player from Thomas Jefferson.
As a team, TJ finished in first place with 16 points followed by Lewis and Clark (15) and Inglemoor (13).
On the boys side
The Federal Way school district was represented by Decatur High School’s two entries.
In singles, Decatur’s Tae Hyung Kim lost to eventual state champion Amol Koli from Newport in round one and Union’s Naman Thawani in the consolations.
In doubles, Decatur juniors Elden Buchan and Jacob Buchan lost to third-place finisher Union in round one and then Wenatchee in the consolations.