Kuykendall Still Alive for Bearcats in State Race


The W.F. West girls tennis team had a tough first day at the 2A District 4 tournament Thursday at Green Meadows Club in Vancouver, with a singles and doubles team eliminated, and just Claire Kuykendall left standing to qualify for state.

Kuykendall lost a first round matchup as the No. 1 singles seed to Ridgefield’s Grace Gama, who Bearcats coach Jack State said could not miss. 

“She was on her game,” State said of Gama. “Against Claire it seemed like she couldn’t do anything wrong, it was about as close as it could get. 

Kuykendall fell 7-5, 6-7 (8-6), 7-6 (7-5), dropping the first set before battling back in a tiebreaker second set, and eventually succumbing to a tiebreaker third set to send her to the losers bracket. She staved off elimination with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Tumwater’s Olivia Kee, and will play Hockinson’s Molly Romanchock Friday at 9 a.m. at Columbia River to hope to qualify for state. 

Elsewhere, W.F. West’s top doubles pair of Mariama Ceesay and Kaylynne Dowling fell in both games they played against Columbia River’s Syden Green and Evie Wenger (6-4, 6-3) and Hockinson’s Addie Chappelle and Grace Abbott (7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7-0)) to end their seasons. 

“All day long they’d go on a run and then double fault or make mistakes,” State said of the pair. “They couldn’t keep it going for a long time, couldn’t get enough consistency going.” 

W.F. West’s second singles player to qualify for districts, Hannah Feaster, fell in a pigtail match with Washougal’s Elise Moore, 6-0, 6-0. 

Additionally, Centralia’s top doubles team of Maddie Corwin and Elizabeth Hopkins had a standout day, dispatching back-to-back foes to advance to the district title match tomorrow. Both will qualify for state.