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Posts Tagged ‘Payton Aparicio’

Payton Aparicio, coming to a Hall o’ Fame near you. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Maybe it was fate.

Payton Aparicio springs from a family rich in sports success, from her parents and grandparents to aunts and uncles and cousins galore.

From the Stuurmans trunk in the middle, to the Bepler and Aparicio branches folding around the base, the ol’ family tree is one of the strongest you will find in Coupeville athletics.

But, as talented as her relatives are, I’m going to go out on my own limb here and say Payton is the best the family has produced.

A soaring star in both volleyball and tennis, who could have been a basketball sensation as well if she hadn’t given up the sport after middle school, Ms. Aparicio is an extremely easy pick for induction into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame.

So, where that’s where we’re placing her today, as we swing open the doors and welcome her into our lil’ digital institution.

After this, you’ll find her at the top of the blog under the Legends tab, sharing space with dad Mitch.

Payton was somewhat deceptive as an athlete.

I know she worked hard, in practices and games, but she has a rare quality of making every action look effortless.

She was the very definition of smooth, regardless of the sport, almost catching you by surprise when you realized how much of an impact she was having.

And that impact was major.

When Aparicio was named Coupeville High School’s Female Athlete of the Year shortly before graduation last spring, it was a lifetime achievement prize in many ways.

Her senior athletic year had been beyond-solid, but when coaches voted, I am confident they were also looking back at the previous three years.

Remembering her precision, her power, and, this is huge, the manner in which she always carried herself.

Aparicio displayed a quiet confidence, rarely (if ever) appearing shaken by the magnitude of the moment.

Who knows if her brain was yelling madly and bouncing off the walls when she went to serve for a match. If so, she never let us see anything other than a serene, locked-in, spirit.

On the volleyball court, Aparicio could soar to the roof and smash with the best of them, while also being nimble enough to scrape dig after dig off the floor.

Her serving was impeccable, deadly and consistent, and she graduated with the school record for most aces in a single match.

From a freshman who blasted a ball into the rafters at South Whidbey, and got the ball to rest on a beam and never come back down (it may still be up there), to a senior who was team MVP on the first Coupeville squad to go to state in more than a decade, Aparicio was a quiet killer.

Her laser focus, mad skills, and assassin-like demeanor translated beautifully to the tennis court, as well.

From the moment they first stepped on the CHS court as freshmen, she and Sage Renninger were the #1 Wolf doubles duo, and they never, ever let anyone come close to taking their title.

Peppering foe after foe, they mixed precision shot-making with raw power, like when Aparicio pegged a rival with a match-winning shot, inflicting physical and emotional pain with one superbly-placed smash.

The duo ended their tennis, and high school careers, with a 4th place finish at the state tourney, winning three of four matches in the Eastern Washington heat.

Their only loss was a tough three-set affair against a private school duo who went on to win a second-straight title, and no one in the tourney came closer to upending the champs than Aparicio and Renninger.

The 4th place finish was the second-best in CHS tennis history, behind just Mindy Horr and Taniel Lamb’s 2nd place showing in 2005, and it’s fitting all four of those standout netters now share space in the Hall o’ Fame.

When I look back on Payton’s prep sports career, I see talent, I see commitment, I see accomplishment, I see a young woman who always put team first.

What do I see? I see one of the best to ever wear a Wolf uniform, that’s what I see.

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Coupeville seniors Sage Renninger (left) and Payton Aparicio placed 4th at the state tennis tourney, bringing a smile to coach Ken Stange’s face. (Photos by CoupevillePaparazzi.com)

Celebrating the best finish by Wolf tennis players in 13 seasons.

Coupeville poses with South Whidbey’s Alison Papritz (left) and Mary Zisette. (Ken Stange photo)

Four years of hard work, of sweat, of big wins and tough losses, of leadership and friendship.

The whole magical ride came to a close Saturday morning for Coupeville High School seniors Payton Aparicio and Sage Renninger, and it ended on an especially sweet note.

The duo, who were doubles partners from day one, bounced Elizabeth Grubb and Katie Keifer of Jenkins (Chewelah) 6-2, 6-3 to claim 4th place at the 1A/2B/1B state tennis tourney in Yakima.

The Wolves won three of four matches at the two-day event, falling only to the defending state champs in a three-set rumble.

The first CHS girl netters to medal in 13 seasons, they captured the second-best showing of any Wolf tennis players in the modern era, girls or boys.

Aparicio and Renninger stand with Taniel Lamb and Mindy Horr, who placed 2nd in doubles in 2005.

It was a great day, and weekend, for Whidbey tennis.

In a sport dominated by private schools, South Whidbey and Coupeville, both small, rural, public institutions, claimed 2nd and 4th in doubles.

Falcons Mary Zisette and Alison Papritz won their semifinal Saturday over Cascade Christian, then fell 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 in the final.

The tourney champs, for the second-straight year, were Amanda Lin and Maria Russinovich of Overlake, who outlasted Aparicio and Renninger in a three-set quarterfinal match.

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Tennis players Sage Renninger (left) and Payton Aparicio (right) went to Yakima for state, while track star Lauren Bayne headed to Cheney. (Photo by CoupevillePaparazzi.com)

It’s been a long time coming.

Payton Aparicio and Sage Renninger were in kindergarten the last time a Coupeville High School girls tennis player brought a medal home from the state tourney.

The year was 2005 and Mindy Horr and Taniel Lamb finished 2nd, losing a three-set, genteel brawl with a pair of private school pros in the championship match.

Jump forward 13 years and it was time for a new generation of Wolf netters to sparkle.

Capping a splendid four-year run in which they have played together from day one of their freshman year, Aparicio and Renninger put on a show Friday in Yakima.

Winning two of three matches at the 1A/2B/1B state championships, with their only loss a narrow defeat to the defending state champs, the Wolf duo clinched a chance to play Saturday in a medal match.

After enduring three matches, and eight sets, Friday, Aparicio and Renninger will play just one match Saturday.

They’ll take the court at 8:30 AM to play Elizabeth Grubb and Katie Keifer of Jenkins (Chewelah) in the 4th/7th place match.

To get to Saturday’s showcase, Coupeville’s #1 tandem showcased their quiet grit, opening with a 6-4, 6-3 straight-sets win over Sierra Rothlisberger and Madeline Peebles of Chelan.

That propelled Aparicio and Renninger into the quarterfinals, where they faced off with Overlake’s Amanda Lin and Maria Russinovich, who captured the state title a year ago.

Not flinching in the face of a team with a gaudy resume, the Wolves forced the champs to play a full three sets, before falling 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

With two matches under their belts, Aparicio and Renninger squared off with Kendra Gay and Gillian Hartman of Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls) and dropped the first set 6-3.

Needing to win to avoid elimination, the Wolf duo rallied to take the next two sets 6-4, 6-4, bouncing their Eastern Washington foes.

Coupeville tennis coach Ken Stange has put 13 years and 26 seasons into the Wolf program. While he’s had boys medal before, he had narrowly missed in previous trips with female netters.

Until Friday, when the Wolves showed the locals they didn’t travel across the state just for the scenery.

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   Coupeville’s Sage Renninger (left), Ken Stange and Payton Aparicio are off to Yakima this weekend for the 1A state girls tennis tourney. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Well, at least no one gets to play in their backyard.

When Payton Aparicio and Sage Renninger pile into a van with Coupeville High School tennis coach Ken Stange and head off to the state tourney this weekend, they’ll have a long drive.

It’s 192.4 miles from Cow Town to Yakima, and the duo will be the first Wolf girls double team to make the trek in a decade.

But, at the least, their first-round foes in the double-elimination draw, Sierra Rothlisberger and Madeline Peebles of Chelan, have to travel 138.6 miles.

Win or lose, Aparicio and Renninger are guaranteed a second match Friday, and it will be against either defending state champs Amanda Lin and Maria Russinovich of Overlake or Kaylee Schow and Ally Vestal of Tenino.

Those duos are trekking 141.2 and 165.7 miles one-way, respectively, so no one can really fall back on the excuse of tired legs.

What the Wolves will face is temps expected to be in the 90’s and unfamiliar foes.

The duos headed to state whom Aparicio and Renninger have played — Mary Zisette and Alison Papritz of South Whidbey and Grace and Kate Jung of Cascade Christian — are on the other side of the 16-team draw.

In an intriguing twist, the Falcon duo will also face a Chelan team, made up of Elle Rothlisberger (younger sister of Sierra) and Bella Gatzemier.

The Mountain Goats (yes, that is Chelan’s mascot, and yes, it’s awesome) hail from the 1A Caribou Trail League and the Rothlisberger sisters are coached by dad Marty.

Depending on how they do, Aparicio and Renninger will play between 2-3 matches Friday. Make it to Saturday and they are guaranteed a top-eight finish, and the medals that come with that.

As the duo prepare for their final run as prep netters, a look at the pertinent details:

 

What:

1B/2B/1A girls tennis state tournament

 

Where:

Yakima Tennis Club
2505 Fruitvale Blvd
http://www.yakimatennis.com/

 

When:

May 25-26

 

Ticket prices:

It’s FREE … if you go all the way to Yakima.

 

WIAA tournament central site:

http://wiaa.com/subcontent.aspx?SecID=1163

 

Draw:

http://wiaa.com/ardisplay.aspx?ID=1772

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Coupeville seniors Sage Renninger (left) and Payton Aparicio are off to state, the first Wolf girls tennis players to make the trip East since 2010. (Photos by CoupevillePaparazzi.com)

Wolf sophomores Avalon Renninger (left) and Tia Wurzrainer split four matches at districts, finishing 4th out of eight duos.

Pack the sunscreen, floppy hats and Gatorade, cause the Wolves are headed to Sun Stroke City.

And they’re thrilled about it.

Coupeville High School seniors Payton Aparicio and Sage Renninger will cap their stellar four-year run as a doubles duo by playing in the 1A/2B/1B girls tennis state championships in Yakima.

They punched their ticket to the big dance, where they’ll be playing on outdoor courts in 90-degree weather May 25-26, by placing 2nd Thursday at the West Central District 3 tourney.

Aparicio and Renninger are the first CHS girls tennis players to make it to state since 2010, when the Hard Court Assassin herself, Julia Sierra Castaño, advanced as a singles player.

You have to go back two years earlier, to 2008, to find the last time a Wolf female doubles duo (Megan Monroe and Hannah Merrell) played at state.

After sweeping two matches Wednesday, Aparicio and Renninger opened Thursday by playing for the district title.

While they fell 6-3, 6-0 to Cascade Christian sisters Grace and Kate Jung, the Wolves still had another opportunity to earn a ticket to state, and ending up coasting in without playing another point.

The battle for second pitted the loser of the final against the survivor of the loser’s bracket, UNLESS the two teams had already played.

In that case, the duo which won the first time around would get a walkover win.

And that’s how it played out, as Mei Ge and Casey Kim of Charles Wright Academy held off Coupeville’s sophomore sensations, Tia Wurzrainer and Avalon Renninger, 7-6, 6-4.

That nixed a chance for the trip to state coming down to CHS vs. CHS, and, since Ge and Kim lost to Aparicio and Sage Renninger Wednesday, the older Wolf duo were handed second place on the spot.

Coupeville’s young guns, who survived a loser-out match earlier Thursday, when they edged Maria Gonzalez and Abby Kwon of CWA 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, claimed 4th place out of eight doubles teams.

The two duos, and singles player Claire Mietus, who lost two matches Wednesday and was a fan on day two, helped Coupeville finish third in the team standings behind CWA and Vashon Island.

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