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GIRLS TENNIS PREVIEW | Skjonsby looking for performance at state

Kailyn Skjonsby is looking forward to a return to the Class 4A state tournament after a frustrating finish last year. - Dannie Oliveaux/Staff Photo
Kailyn Skjonsby is looking forward to a return to the Class 4A state tournament after a frustrating finish last year.
— image credit: Dannie Oliveaux/Staff Photo

She is not dismissive of the importance of the regular season.

But for South Kitsap senior Kailyn Skjonsby, she is ready for the playoffs.

First-year coach Mark Myers agreed.

“She’s pretty much playing for the postseason,” he said.

Skjonsby had little difficulty capturing the Class 4A Narrows League’s girls tennis championship last May at the University of Puget Sound. But in the first round of the state tournament, she lost 6-1, 6-3, against Kamiak’s Sally Park at Richland High School. State again will be held there and Columbia Basin Racquet Club on May 24-25.

“[A recent match] was really windy,” she said, referencing the conditions at last year’s state tournament. “It was a good warmup. I’ll be ready.”

Skjonsby, who is contemplating opportunities to play at Seattle University, where she also was accepted into the nursing program, Pacific Lutheran and Whitworth, will be joined by her mother, Sue, who is an assistant coach.

“I’ve never been a teaching professional,” said Myers, who also has South graduate Isaac Roinas as an assistant. “She really helps the girls on the basics and fundamentals.”

The Wolves appear set on the singles side as junior Emily Wilkins has moved into the second slot after competing in doubles last year.

“I’m excited that Emily stepped up to play No. 2 singles,” Kailyn Skjonsby said. “It’s a big jump, but she’s adapting really well.”

Myers said he might even play Skjonsby in doubles at times to give other girls experience playing singles. Picking one to move up to singles might be the greater challenge as he said there is not much separation in skill between the first and third doubles’ teams.

“We have three really strong teams,” Myers said. “I think that will help us tremendously.”

In addition, some young players and newcomers might emerge, including talented foreign-exchange student Akari Yamashita. She is a junior this year.

“We have a lot of depth,” Myers said. “The varsity has a lot of interchangeable group of gals.”

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