Sports

No three-peat for Wolves' Davison

The state of Washington will have to wait at least three years to see another three-time Class 4A girls’ tennis champion.

Two-time defending champ Stephanie Davison has informed South Kitsap coach Todd Olson she does not intend to play tennis for the Wolves this spring. Davison, a senior, met with both Olson and SK athletic director Ed Santos last week to inform them of her decision. She will address her teammates next week at a scheduled team meeting.

“She told me just the other day that she was not going to play this year,” Olson said. “Her reasoning was that she felt like she didn’t have anything left to prove.”

Davison’s streak of state titles will end at two, one shy of tying Amanda Taylor, who won three in a row before Davison snapped the Richland native’s streak in 2004.

Davison then beat Suzie Matzenauer of Bellarmine Prep last year for her second title, ending the year with just one loss, that to Matzenauer at the Narrows League Tournament

In three years of playing high school tennis, Davison reached the finals each time, losing only to Taylor her freshman year.

She could have become the state’s third three-time champion in the past 35 years in its largest classification. Taylor won titles in 2001, ’02 and ’03, while University High’s Sharon Fletcher won three in a row from 1983-85.

Sonya Olejar of Bellarmine won four title in a row from 1989-1992.

Olson said one of the things Davison talked about was that she beat Taylor for the title, Taylor’s only loss of her high-school career, and that she proved it wasn’t a fluke by winning the title the following year by beating Matzenauer.

Coming into this year, Matzenauer was the only competitor she really needed to worry about and therefore had nothing left to prove.

Attempts to reach Davison for comment were unsuccessful.

Davison, who will attend the University of Texas this fall, will play in United States Tennis Association events over the course of the spring and summer before heading to Austin. She did that during the season last year and Olson said he had no problem with her doing so again this year.

“We’ve done that the last three years. We’ve always worked around her schedule,” Olson said. “She’s always done whatever it takes to be a part of the team. But she just felt like she didn’t have anything left to prove and winning three (state titles) in a row didn’t matter to her much.”

Olson said he feels Davison is already trying to wean herself off high school tennis and trying to get ready for the demands of playing at the Division 1 college level.

“She feels that she will get better competition, which she probably will, playing at those other tournaments than playing at high school,” Olson said.

Both Olson and Santos said they discussed the ramifications with Davison, making sure she was aware of a potential backlash from teammates and classmates at South Kitsap.

“We talked about how she needed to talk with (Santos) because she’s not only letting the kids on the team down, she’s also letting the school down — a school that she’s been representing for three years,” Olson said. “And now she won’t be representing the school.”

Olson, who has been her only high school tennis coach, said he was disappointed in her decision but understands why she made it.

“For me personally, it hurts a little bit,” Olson said. “You spend all that time with her at practice, not so much coaching the stroke and everything because she’s always had those, but all the time put in working around certain things. So it hurts when you hear that she’s not coming back.

“I didn’t try to talk her out of it,” Olson said. “The last thing you want is someone there that doesn’t want to be there. I just wanted to make sure that it was a choice that she made by herself and something that she wanted to do. Other than that, that’s about all you can do.”

Practice for spring sports begins Feb. 27, while the Wolves’ season will get under way in mid-March.

With Davison out, Charlotte Duran will be called on to take over the team’s No. 1 singles spot.

Duran, a senior, was 7-1 last year when playing in the top spot in many of Davison’s absences.

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