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Heading to state tournament

PUHI — Kauai High School tennis player Miya Reese was unseeded in the Kauai Interscholastic Federation qualifying tennis matches that wrapped up Friday afternoon at the Kauai Community College tennis courts.

Reese took the long road around to beat No. 2 seed Sydney Nice of Kapaa High School, winning the final Girls Singles match, 6-4, 7-5.

The victory gives the unseeded player eligibility to represent the KIF in one of 12 spots that emerged following the two-day qualifying matches.

“We did pretty good,” said Kauai High School tennis coach Shannon Burkman. “The players all worked hard through the season, and we finished with eight Red Raider players qualifying for the 2019 HMSA Hawaii High School Athletic Association tennis championships that will contest May 9 through 11 at the Mauna Lani Sports &Fitness Club.”

Two of the spots Kauai earned came in the finals of the Girls Doubles where the team of Anna Burkman and Tia Fulks, seeded No. 1, beat the No. 2 seed team of Hoku Iseri and Katherine O’Neill during the final match, 7-5,7-6 (7-5).

On the boys’ courts, top-seed singles player, Sasha Rovinsky of Island School, beat out No. 3 seed Kai Villanueva of Kauai High School, 6-0, 6-0 during the finals.

“Sasha played, and won a total of eight matches this year,” said John Crouse, the Island School tennis coach. “He won 16 of the 16 sets he played, and took 95 of the 96 games he played. That is some pretty impressive focus under any circumstances. He also stepped up and embraced a player/coach/mentor role for his teammates.”

Villanueva worked his way up the food chain by defeating Waimea’s Alvin Rafael, 6-1, 6-4, Thursday at the Timbers Kauai at Hokuala facilities before facing No. 2 seed Mason Buick of Kapaa. He ended the semifinals with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Buick to face Rovinsky in the finals.

The team of Breicen Medina and Fred Ryl Apella of Waimea will fill the remaining spots for the boys after defeating the Red Raider pair of Trevor Carbonel and Micah Matsunaga in three sets, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4. Carbonel and Matsunaga also earn eligibility to advance to the state tournament.

Reese opened play in the Girls Singles with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Waimea’s Keria Moritsugu-Vandehey on Thursday at Kauai Community College. The win pit her against the top seeded Haven Sadler of Island School.

“Haven had a tough break,” said Scott Nakamatsu of the Waimea coaching staff. “She was playing Miya and the strings broke. It was her favorite racket, too. She just couldn’t recover from that.”

Reese took the match 6-2, 6-1, and went on to down No. 4 seed Kiara Dolino of Kapaa to face the second-seeded Nice in the finals, both girls advancing to the state tournament.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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