The Patriot Press

Tennis brings home trophies after successful post season

Siri Christopherson, Sports Editor

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Men:

Having sent five of the six athletes who played at districts in October to state on May 27 and 28, the men’s team proved their finesse by finishing a strong season with numbers at the state tournament at the University of Washington.
One of the reasons behind such a standout season is Liberty’s new tennis courts, which were installed last summer. Senior and team captain Marek Pierepiekarz also cited incoming talent as a source of the team’s excellence.
“This season we’ve had really a couple just really talented tennis payers move up and join the team like Marco Sobrino, and Calvin and Colby Vuong,” Pierepiekarz said. “Unfortunately neither of them made it to state, but they’re freshmen, and I know in coming years we’re going to see a lot more good performances from them.”
Pierepiekarz also noted the strength of doubles pairs junior Ethan Le and freshman Bryan Le, and junior Cody Hughes and sophomore Marco Sobrino. The Le brothers competed at state and finished fourth, while Hughes and Sobrino placed third.
In addition to the two doubles teams, Pierepiekarz competed as a singles player in the state tournament but was unable to place.
“Marek really performed really well especially for his senior year, and we’re going to have to cope without him next year,” Sobrino said.
The five Patriot men combined were able to place the tennis team in 2nd overall at the state tournament.

Women:

The women’s tennis team enjoyed a solid postseason—it sent six players to districts, and one player, freshman Luciana Sobrino, moved on to compete at state in singles.
Head coach Mike Salokas has seen an exceptional season with large numbers—52 girls came out to play tennis this year. In postseason, he put singles players on doubles teams to optimize the number of players that could compete at districts on May 20th and 21st.
“Usually that takes a long time to transition,” Salokas said. “Well, it’s been 3 weeks now, and I have a big smile because I’m seeing transition occurring.”
Originally a singles player, junior Jyotsna Kuramkote played doubles with sophomore Catherine La at the districts meet but did not place. Also a doubles team, junior Cheyenne Rice and sophomore Grace Lee placed 7th at districts. In singles, junior Sienna Rice finished 7th, and freshman Luciana Sobrino placed 3rd, moving her on to state.
Sobrino accumulated wins at state until her semi-final match, losing to the player she lost to at districts. She won her last match and finished 3rd overall.
Looking at the regular tennis season, the women played well, finishing with a win-loss record of 9-3.
“We wanted to be at least 5-0, and we got all the way up to 8-0, and that was a big accomplishment for us,” senior Christina La said. La was injured and could not play in postseason. “We ended up being 9-3, which is expected, but that’s our best record in Liberty history.”

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Tennis brings home trophies after successful post season