The Del Norte girls tennis season ended Friday at the Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 Double Tournament in Fortuna and the Warriors finished in style.
North Coast Prep Academy won the tournament and will travel to the Bay Area to compete in the North Coast Sectional Tournament, but the Warriors had all three doubles teams reach the finals of their respective brackets.
“All of the girls played the best tennis of the season in the doubles finals,” said Del Norte tennis coach Jane Rumiano. “Each of them came off the courts totally depleted of energy and proud of the effort they’d made to win. It was a great end to the season and everyone was making plans for next year on the ride home.”
Four of the six Warriors who competed in Fortuna will be eligible again next year.
Del Norte’s top team of juniors Jordan Babich and Alexis Wright faced teams from St. Bernard’s and Fortuna that had beaten them during the regular season. On Friday, the Warriors’ top team was firing on all cylinders, beating St. Bernard’s 6-1, 6-1 and Fortuna 7-6 (8), 6-3.
“It was wonderful to see them work together to get through the tough spots in both matches to succeed,” Rumiano said.
Babich and Wright lost to North Coast Prep 6-3, 6-4 in the championship match, but both teams earned White Stars for their efforts.
The No. 2 doubles cousins team of Panhia and Debbie Yang blew by Arcata 6-1, 6-2 in the first round, then edged out Eureka 7-6 (2), 7-5 in the semifinals. The Yangs also faced a team from North Coast Prep in the championship, falling 6-2, 6-4.
“They have played well all season and had a chance to win in the finals, but the NPA team proved too much for them,” Rumiano said.
In No. 3 doubles, Marine Henry and Raili Makela’s championship run started with a 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 victory over North Coast Prep. In the semifinals, Del Norte edged out St. Bernard’s 6-4, 6-2. The championship match against McKinleyville took three sets to settle. McKinleyville took the first set 6-0, but Henry and Makela bounced back with a 7-5 win in the second game. McKinleyville pulled out the third game 6-3 to win the bracket.