Bearcat Tennis Sweeps Tigers in Centralia


The Bearcat girls tennis team rattled the Tigers’ cage in Centralia on Friday, sweeping in all varsity spots for a 6-0 team win. 

At first singles, W.F West’s Mari Ceesay topped Centralia’s Olivia Norris, 6-1, 6-0. 

Head Coach Jack State said he’s been proud of Ceesay’s performance in the last few matches. 

A strong baseline player, State said he’s advised Ceesay to develop more patience.

“From the baseline, hit the ball, you know, drive it, but stay patient. And then when you get a shorter ball, come up on it,” State said. “She did a very good job of that.”

After the match, Norris and Ceesay embraced. Both said they’ve become friendly as they practice together on Lewis County’s only indoor tennis court at Thorbeckes in Chehalis. 

At second singles, W.F. West’s Viviana Ibanez beat Centralia’s Brook Frakes 6-1, 6-0. 

A junior, this is Ibanez’s first year playing on the team. State said she’s been a strong singles player and that Friday was her first time in the number two varsity spot. 

“She’s done a very good job for us. She works hard,” he said. “She hustles after everything.” 

At third singles, Bearcat Emma Hamilton beat Tiger Suki Bringman 6-1, 6-0. It was Hamilton’s first ever singles match. 

“She looked more comfortable — she didn’t have to worry about letting her partner down or making a mistake,” State said of Hamilton’s match. “Things were all on her.”

In doubles action, W.F. West’s first doubles team, Laura Yip and Katelyn Wood, topped Centralia’s Maddy Brekel and Maya Leckie, 6-0, 6-2. 

State said he’s been shifting the Bearcats’ lineup after a tight set against a strong Black Hills team, and that Wood and Yip showed promise he hopes they could carry into the postseason. 

In second doubles, the Bearcats’ Emma Weerasinghe and Joy Pluard took down Tigers Aydan Butler and Claire Hoskins in the night’s closest match, 6-2, 7-5. 

Weerasinghe’s usual partner was gone for the night, which State said was a challenge she was able to pull through. 

At third doubles, W.F West’s Jamie Bradley and Eli Mittge defeated Tigers Lacey Gress and Neela Haywood, 6-0, 6-2. 

“They did a really nice job,” State said of the third doubles players. “I was just really happy. Jamie’s done a good job.Eli’s new, Eli’s a freshman. She just kind of gets it. …She has a very promising tennis future.”

State continued that the team has about a half dozen upper classmen and a strong bench of freshman and sophomores. 

“I really like our team this year. Obviously, I like our team every year,” he said, laughing. He later added, “I think that freshman group of friends has as much potential as I can remember a group having.”

W.F West’s overall record is 4-3, with a league record of 3-1. Their next match is scheduled for April 20 at Aberdeen. 

Friday’s match brought Centralia’s record to 2-2. They face Black Hills in an away match on Monday.