Posts Tagged ‘Sprinker Tennis Center’

Sage Renninger (left) and Payton Aparicio won both of their matches Wednesday at districts and are one victory from advancing to state. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

With day one in the books, netters (l to r) Sage Renninger, Claire Mietus, Aparicio, Avalon Renninger and Tia Wurzrainer enjoy a dinner break. (Photo by CoupevillePaparazzi.com)

If the Nisqually League thought it would stomp through the West Central District 3 girls tennis tourney with little push-back, surprise!

The Olympic League, and conference champ Coupeville in particular, is proving to be no push-over.

The Wolf netters, making a stand for public school players everywhere, combined for three wins Wednesday at the Sprinker Tennis Center in Tacoma.

Along the way, Coupeville came dangerously close to making Thursday’s doubles title match an all-Wolf affair.

CHS seniors Payton Aparicio and Sage Renninger, who came a win from advancing to state last year, are primed to punch their ticket in their final go-round.

The duo, who have been partners since day one of their freshman season, swept two matches from Charles Wright Academy foes.

The first win was capped when Aparicio drilled one of the rival players in the face on match point.

So, basically, an apt metaphor for public schools refusing to bow to private schools, which typically rule Washington state high school tennis.

Aparicio and Sage Renninger play sisters Grace and Kate Jung of Cascade Christian Thursday for the district title and a #1 seed to state.

The loser of the title bout will face the survivor of the loser’s bracket for District 3’s second berth to the big dance in Eastern Washington.

There was only one berth to state available last year.

Coupeville’s other doubles team, sophomores Avalon Renninger and Tia Wurzrainer, split two matches Wednesday, narrowly missing out on a trip to the finals.

The former is making her second-straight district tourney appearance, while the latter is debuting on the Tacoma courts, but they hit immediate pay dirt as a tandem, toppling a duo from Vashon.

While Avalon Renninger and Wurzrainer fell to the Jungs in the semifinals, they pushed them hard, with the first set knotted at 5-5 before their older rivals pulled away.

The duo is still alive and will aim to tear up the loser’s bracket Thursday, while Coupeville’s lone singles player will operate as a fan on day two.

Senior Claire Mietus ran into the tourney’s top player in the opening round, then faced off with an Olympic League rival in round two, dropping both matches.


Complete Wednesday results:


Claire Mietus:

Lost to Zoe Rose (Charles Wright Academy) 6-0, 6-0
Lost to Vilma Jurma (Port Townsend) 6-0, 6-0


Payton Aparicio/Sage Renninger:

Beat Maria Gonzalez/Abby Kwon (CWA) 7-5, 6-2
Beat Mei Ge/Casey Kim (CWA) 6-4, 7-5


Avalon Renninger/Tia Wurzrainer:

Beat Tobin Vaughn/Lizzy Sutherland (Vashon Island) 7-5, 6-3
Lost to Grace Jung/Kate Jung (Cascade Christian) 7-5, 6-0

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   Wolf netters (l to r) William Nelson, Pedro Gamarra and Joey Lippo hang out at the district tourney. (Connie Lippo photo)

For the second straight year, Coupeville High School netters Joey Lippo and William Nelson came within one win of advancing to the state tournament.

But, despite ending the West Central District III boys tennis tourney Thursday with a victory over league rivals, the Wolf duo have reached the end of a remarkable four-year run together.


Having finished third at districts, Lippo and Nelson are the alternates to state, which means they could still get the call if illness, injury or, say, a kidnapping, were to go down and make life miserable for either of the top two duos.

There’s plenty of time for unforeseen circumstances to develop, as boys tennis is played by some schools in the fall and some in the spring.

That means state isn’t held until late May, when Lippo will likely be playing baseball for CHS and Nelson running the soccer pitch for the Wolves.

If that call doesn’t come, though, the duo can look back on a stellar career, where, except for two matches, they played together as an exclusive doubles team for all four seasons.

Coming off a title at the Olympic League tournament, Lippo and Nelson opened districts with a win Wednesday, then lost a titanic three-set battle to a Vashon team Thursday morning.

Coupeville’s best rebounded to drill a duo from Klahowya, which moved them forward into a rematch with the Vashon netters in the second/third place match.


District tourney rules are clear — “if a rematch occurs during the tournament this match will not occur and the winner from the first match will advance to the next round.”

While it might seem unfair, Coupeville was dinged by the exact opposite rule a couple of years back, when Aaron Curtin was denied a trip to state when he lost a rematch to a Vashon player he had already beaten.

So, basically, no matter which way the rule is written that year, the rich school will ALWAYS come out on top in the hoity-toity world of high school tennis.

End of story.

While Lippo and Nelson finished districts with a 2-1 record, Coupeville’s other four competitors — singles aces Pedro Gamarra and Jakobi Baumann and doubles duo Nick Etzell and Mason Grove — went two and out.

Baumann, a junior, and Grove, a sophomore, are the only Wolves who could return next season.

Etzell, Lippo and Nelson are seniors, while Gamarra is a foreign exchange student.

Complete Thursday results:


Pedro Gamarra:

Lost to Zain Mian (Charles Wright) 6-3, 6-0
Lost to Amadeo Gallina (Vashon) 6-1, 6-3

Jakobi Baumann:

Lost to Jacob Kraft (Klahowya) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3


William Nelson/Joey Lippo:

Lost to Wyatt Kepler and JJ Bogaard (Vashon) 6-4, 4-6, 7-5
Beat Morgan Seidel/William Stewart (Klahowya) 7-5(8-6), 6-1

Mason Grove/Nick Etzell:

Lost to Mason Rice/Hank Rogers (Vashon) 7-6, 6-4

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   Wolf netters Joey Lippo (left) and William Nelson, chasing a trip to state, won their opening match at districts Wednesday. (Connie Lippo photo)

There was a little something for everyone.

A broken string, a quick racket swap, rain (what a surprise), even some actual tennis being played.

After enduring the trip to Tacoma Wednesday, the Coupeville High School netters opened districts with a win, two losses and a match suspended due to moisture.

The best news came from senior doubles duo William Nelson and Joey Lippo, who overcame a disabled racket to wax Mason Rice and Hank Rogers of Vashon Island 6-4, 6-3.

Nelson borrowed teammate Nick Etzell’s stick to finish the match (his racket has since been restrung), but he might not have needed it, as Lippo promptly went on a run of service aces.

With the win, the duo advance to the semifinals Thursday, chasing their first berth at the state tourney next spring.

The top two finishers at districts, which pits the four best from the Olympic League against the four best of the Nisqually League, earn tickets to the big dance.

It’ll be a harder climb for Coupeville’s other players through the modified double elimination bracket, though.

Jakobi Baumann fell 6-0, 6-0 to Raghav Agrawal of Charles Wright Academy, while Etzell and Mason Grove were tipped 6-2, 6-1 by Wyatt Kepler and JJ Bogaard of Vashon.

While the doubles matches were played indoors, the singles matches were started outside, and rain threw that into havoc.

Coupeville’s other singles ace, Pedro Gamarra, was at 2-2 in the first set of his match with Zain Mian of CWA when liquid sunshine brought an early end to their tussle.

The tourney returns to action at 8 AM Thursday.

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Joey Lippo

Joey Lippo contemplates attacking the cameraman. (John Fisken photos)

William Nelson

William Nelson gets elegant.

Now they wait six months and hope for a miracle.

Coupeville High School netters William Nelson and Joey Lippo went back to Tacoma Tuesday for one more round of postseason action, but failed to get the win they needed to guarantee their season would continue.

The Wolf juniors got stronger as the match progressed, but couldn’t overcome their private school foes, falling 6-1, 7-5 to Micha Wibowo and Jack Jorgenson of Charles Wright Academy.

With the win, the CWA duo claimed second place at the 1A West Central District tennis tourney, giving the Tarriers a sweep of the top two doubles slots.

Wibowo and Jorgenson will join district champs Dylan Sam and Raghav Agrawal at the state tourney in Yakima next spring.

For the Coupeville pair, who finished third in a field of eight teams at districts, their season is 99.98% done.

Why not 100%?

Because Washington state high school sports are a mess.

Some schools play boys tennis in the fall (like CHS), while a ton wait until the spring.

With that in mind, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association doesn’t announce state tourney allocations for each district until May, regardless of when that district plays.

Coupeville’s current home, District 3, is guaranteed two state slots, and there’s a (very) slim chance of landing a third.

Which means you can hold onto hope even if longtime Wolf coach Ken Stange admitted earlier in the week it would be “very unlikely.”

Of course, six months is a long time, and if something were to happen to either Charles Wright duo (skiing accidents? alien abduction? bribes?), Coupeville is first up as an alternate, as well.

If nothing else, Nelson and Lippo, who should be playing soccer and baseball, respectively, when spring arrives, led a strong Wolf showing in the postseason.

After winning its second straight 1A Olympic League title, Coupeville advanced eight netters to districts, most of any team there, and most in Stange’s decade-plus run as the school’s net guru.

Singles players Nick Etzell and Jakobi Baumann and doubles duos Joseph Wedekind/John McClarin and Grey Rische/Jimmy Myers joined Lippo and Nelson at districts.

Of that group, Etzell, Baumann, Lippo and Nelson are underclassmen and can return next season.

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