Danya Wallis was one tired teenager when she got home and flopped down on her bed.
The North Kitsap senior had accomplished a Kitsap County first by winning her fourth straight Class 2A state singles tennis championship, 6-3, 6-1 over Anna Rios of Foster. North Kitsap also won the team title with 13 points.
— WIAA (@wiaawa) May 26, 2018
Wallis arrived at the University of Washington’s Nordstom Tennis Center at 7 a.m. Saturday and didn’t return home until nearly 12 hours later.
But she brought with her the medal and implanted her name in the record books for what could be many years to come.
Satisfaction, relief, and happiness overwhelmed her.
“Honestly it doesn’t feel real,” Wallis said. “It feels like it was a long time coming. I don’t think for a few days that it actually happened, but it feels amazing.”
It is believed that Wallis is the first Kitsap player, and first in the Olympic League, to win four straight state championships.
Is she relieved it’s over?
“Oh, definitely,” Wallis admitted. “It feels good to be out there with all the cheering. It’s been so long since this whole journey started and it’s pretty crazy it’s over and I’m really, really happy.
“I feel a sense of relief that it’s over.”
Wallis held off an ardent push by two worthy opponents in Rios and Faith Grisham of Columbia River in the semifinals.
Against Grisham, who had been undefeated in match play, Wallis said she was very good and had a tough time in the first set.
“I think I outlasted her,” Wallis said, adding once her nerves settled down, she started to play better.
“I started to hit smoother. In the first set, I was nervous and I shanked a lot of shots. In the second set, I hit winners.”
Wallis won 6-3, 6-1.
Ríos defeated Olympic’s Marissa Nemeth in the other semi, 6-1, 6-2, and it set up a final of two familiar opponents. Wallis beat Rios in the district tournament.
Rios applied pressure early, taking a 2-0 lead in the first set.
“That was very nerve-wracking,” said Wallis, who thought to herself she might not win that elusive fourth title.
But Wallis was able to break Rios’ serve, and then started her comeback before pulling out the set.
“I started playing way better in the second set,” she said. “It’s kind of unfortunate the scores cannot reflect the match,” Wallis said. “They both were way closer than the score showed.”
Wallis knows taking control of her nerves is an aspect of her game she still needs to work on, and she’ll have that opportunity for future growth. Wallis is committed to play at the University of Redlands, a Division III school in Redlands, Calif.
Olympic’s Nemeth, a junior, finished sixth after losing to Grisham in the third/sixth seeding match, 6-1, 6-0.
— Olympic Trojans (@TheOlyAthletics) May 27, 2018
In doubles, Emily Shaleen and Lily Beaulieu of Kingston placed third. The Buccaneer duo lost to Nina Vongaly and Katrina Kuntz of Sammamish in the semifinals 6-3, 6-3. Shaleen and Beaulieu defeated Isla Hall and Sydney Leiweke of Sehome 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-2 in the trophy round.
Congrats to Lily and Emily for a 3rd Place Finish in Doubles at State Tennis! pic.twitter.com/WaClkjFx6Y
— Kingston High School (@KHSBucs) May 27, 2018
Bremerton’s Darija Maric and Jasmine Palaganas survived a loser-out match and then beat Megan Wilks and Mya Davis of W.F. West 6-3, 6-4 to finish fourth.
In 2A boys, North Kitsap’s Scott Lyons placed fifth, beating Kyle Hebbeler of Lindbergh, 7-5, 6-2. In doubles, Justus Jagodzinski and Nate Blanchard of North Kitsap placed sixth. The Viking pair lost to Michael Bernstein and William Zhang of Shame 6-3, 6-2 in the trophy round. Olympic’s Keaton Dean and Aidan Ortega lost in an elimination game.
Central Kitsap’s Tyler Feldbush finished seventh in 3A, and Taylor Fite of Klahowya finished fifth in 1A.
Softball: Bainbridge ousted on final day
The Bainbridge Spartans softball team couldn’t find the same momentum it had Friday and lost 5-1 to Yelm Saturday morning at the Class 3A state tournament.
The Spartans (19-8) had survived day one of the two-day tournament, winning back-to-back loser-out games to do it, but couldn’t figure out the Tornadoes in their 9 a.m. game at the Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey.
What a season. 👊🏼
These ladies worked so hard all year and finished strong, placing in the top half of the bracket at the State tournament 💛
Incredible group of young ladies, incredible memories 💙 #GoSpartans #state2018 #wastatesb #f18ht pic.twitter.com/ahZ7bEwoTS
— BHS Spartan Softball (@Bain_Softball) May 27, 2018