Serving at State: La Salle Tennis Competes for 5A Glory

Brooks Coleman, Staff Reporter

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  • Junior Eldon Nichols gunned out his leg in between matches on Friday.

  • Coach David Lane chatted with junior Bella Hanna-Barofsky and senior Avery Richards during their doubles match on Friday.

  • Sophomore Kennedy Harris getting ready to return the ball.

  • Juniors Eldon and Breslin Nichols talked between points during their first-round match on Friday.

  • Senior Megan Snyder prepared to return serve.

  • Sophomore Kennedy Harris got focused moments before a serve.

  • Seniors Sophia Hauer and Gabbi Tassinari touched rackets between points.

  • Junior Aidan McBride prepared to serve during his match on Saturday.

  • Senior Avery Richards showed an intense look of concentration moments before a point.

  • An amped-up Breslin Nichols warmed up before his quarterfinal doubles match.

  • Sophomore Kennedy Harris and coach Matthew Lane shared a quick fist bump.

  • Junior Aidan McBride hit a volley down the line during his consolation semifinal.

  • Senior Sophia Hauer lobbed the ball back over the net.

  • Sophomore Kennedy Harris focused up during the final point of her championship match.

  • Members of La Salle’s girls tennis team shared a group hug with sophomore Kennedy Harris after her championship match victory.

  • In her final game, the points were not always easy. “Sometimes there were really long points and really long games where I just had to stay in it and get the ball back,” she said.

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La Salle’s boys and girls tennis programs headed to the OSAA 5A state championships over the weekend, with both teams sending both singles and doubles players to compete in their respective tournaments.

The boys team sent one singles player, junior Aidan McBride, who was a semifinalist in the consolation tournament. Junior twins Eldon and Breslin Nichols represented the Falcons in the boys doubles tournament, making it to the quarterfinals. These three helped the boys team finish fifth in the overall team competition.

Sophomore Kennedy Harris and senior Megan Snyder represented the Lady Falcons in the girls singles tournament. Snyder lost in the first round of the singles’ consolation bracket, while Harris finished with her second consecutive state championship in the category. Harris defeated Crescent Valley’s Sophie Katz by a score of 6-2, 6-2 in the semifinals — a rematch of last year’s 5A singles final. 

Harris then faced off against Crescent Valley freshman Emily Gu in the final, who defeated Harris earlier in the year. “[In] that last match, I wasn’t as focused,” Harris said. “That was one of the big things that I tried to do, especially in the second set — to just stay focused.”

That strategy paid off. This time, Harris was able to get the victory, winning the state championship by a score of 6-4, 6-2.

“It’s amazing, really,” Harris said. “I walked into this knowing that I could win again and, well, I’m going to try to win next year.”

The girls also sent two doubles teams — seniors Gabbi Tassinari and Sophia Hauer and junior Bella Hanna-Barofsky paired with senior Avery Richards. Tassinari and Hauer lost their first match but rebounded to make it to the girls doubles consolation final. 

Hanna-Barofsky and Richards made it to the quarterfinals, which helped the girls team to secure second place in the overall 5A classification for the second year in a row.

Correction: May 25, 2023

A previous version of this article referred to tennis coach Mr. David Lane by the incorrect first name, and it has since been corrected.