Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Sage Renninger’

Sage Renninger, the newest addition to the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Underrated in the extreme.

Over the past four years, Sage Renninger has been, without a doubt, one of the best athletes to wear a Coupeville uniform.

Graceful, hard-nosed, a quiet warrior who let her play do the talking for her, she carved out her own path, and it was a very successful one.

Having given up basketball after middle school, Renninger showcased her athletic skills a bit off the beaten track, starring in soccer and tennis.

The first of those is a sport in which my base of knowledge is, admittedly, limited.

I don’t understand a lot of the intricacies of the “beautiful game,” and often times revert back to frustration over the sport being satisfied with ties, and the number of times a play is just starting to get interesting, only to have the ball nick a random knee and shoot out of bounds.

I am not the person who is going to sit here and rhapsodize about the mystical joy of fútbol.

That being said, I can, and do, appreciate the level of commitment it takes to even play the sport, much less be a star.

And Renninger was a true star on the pitch.

Through four years in a Wolf uniform, which culminated with being a captain her senior year, she was as steady as they come.

Renninger could net you goals (the one part of soccer idiots like myself understand), but she was also a rock for Coupeville, controlling the pace and flow of the game.

She didn’t scream and holler, at least not on the pitch, but her teammates leaned in to hear her words, and they responded.

It takes a deft hand to be a true leader on a sports team, to command respect with your play, your attitude and an unshakable belief that you and your teammates will find a way to success, no matter the odds.

Few leaders have been as effective, or as well-liked by their teammates, as Renninger.

So, while I freely admit I don’t always understand soccer on a deeper level, I do recognize greatness, and there is no doubt in my mind Sage is one of the best the CHS girls program has been blessed to claim as one of its own.

Her other sport, tennis, is exactly the opposite, and exactly the same.

It’s the opposite, in, that having played the sport myself during my Tumwater High School days, I see the strategy behind the shots and have a far greater base of knowledge and appreciation for what is playing out.

And it’s the same, because Renninger, just as she did on the soccer pitch, was a serene, high-achieving wonder on the hard court.

She and partner Payton Aparicio were the #1 doubles team from the moment they first stepped on the court as freshmen, and they never let the crown slip from atop their heads.

Over the course of four years, they were, quite simply, the gold standard, the best Wolf duo since Mindy Horr and Taniel Lamb came within a handful of points of winning the 2005 state championship.

Renninger, who brought a potent mix of power and pace to the court, possesses a rare intangible which is often found in top tennis players.

In short, she abided.

By that, I mean, she never got too high when success came her way, and never got too low when defeat made a rare appearance.

Watching Renninger exit the court after a match, whether during her freshman season or her senior campaign, it always looked the same.

Perhaps a small smile, sometimes a more-enthusiastic racket bump with Aparicio, but always under control, always giving little away to her opponents.

She circled her foes like a shark, and watch a shark as it moves – there is often a calmness to its movements right before an attack.

When the death ‘n destruction came, her racket snapping off winners, Renninger was brutally efficient, and it was beautiful to see.

She and Aparicio closed their prep careers this past spring with a phenomenal postseason run, eventually winning three of four matches at the state tourney and claiming 4th place.

The duo’s only loss was an epic three-set defeat, in which things were decided by just a handful of points, and came to the private school girls who would end the tourney with their second-straight state title.

Afterwards, Renninger shared the moment with Aparicio, with their families, and with CHS coach Ken Stange.

Having played two days in blazing heat, she looks tired but satisfied in photos from that day. She also looks, as she always did, like a winner.

Renninger didn’t always get the headlines others in her graduating class did, but she won as much respect from us as any Wolf of her generation.

So today, we open the doors to the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, and welcome her into an elite fraternity.

In the days and months and years after this, you’ll find Renninger hanging out at the top of the blog, under the Legends tab.

Because that’s exactly what she was, in her own self-contained way – a legend.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

   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

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »