State tennis roundup: Mok leads Boise girls team to championship

Rafa Hewitt-Steiger of Lewiston knocks off two Borah players on the way to a state crown.

clangrill@idahostatesman.comMay 19, 2013 

Boise High sophomore Bianca Mok has dominated at state the past two years, but ... "I still need to get better," she said.

KATHERINE JONES — kjones@idahostatesman.com

Boise High's Bianca Mok won the 5A girls tennis state championship as a freshman last season.

She repeated as a sophomore Saturday at Appleton Tennis Center.

Coach Tommy Buford said she is a better player this year than last season.

But get this: Mok's determined to get even better.

"I need to show more variety in my game," Mok said after she beat Idaho Falls' Madison Maloney 6-1, 6-1.

Buford said Mok's dedication and innate talent make her a special player.

"Her family, they hit tennis balls pretty much every day the sun comes up," Buford said. "And they don't go out there and pat them. They hit 'em."

Buford said Mok's hand-eye coordination sets her apart from her peers.

"She doesn't have excellent strength, and she doesn't have excellent speed," Buford said. "But she has phenomenal hand-eye coordination, and that allows her to time the ball so well that it makes it rough on the other opponent.

"She puts people on the defensive with her first, second shot. Third shot, it's all over."

That pattern played out more often than not as Mok mowed down opponent after opponent at state. She didn't lose more than one game in any set on her title run. Mok's dominance - and a win by the doubles team of Allie Boyd and Hailey Boyd - lifted the Boise girls to the team championship.

The Boyd sisters avenged a loss in the district tournament when they defeated Carly Souhrada and Danielle Christensen of Eagle 6-4, 6-3 in the semifinals. From there, it was smooth sailing and a 6-1, 6-0 championship win over the Lewiston team of ZJ Mayton and Jerica Kingsbury.

The Braves finished with 42.5 points, followed by Eagle (33.5) and Idaho Falls (28).

The Boise boys, meanwhile, just missed out on their third team title in a row. Lewiston came in first with 29 points, followed by Boise (27.5) and Borah (25).

OTHER 5A MATCHES

• Lewiston's Rafa Hewitt-Steiger won a marathon battle against Borah's Reuben Mulhern 6-7, 6-1, 6-4.

Earlier Saturday, Hewitt-Steiger was tested by another Borah player in the semifinals. He defeated Kyle Whittaker 7-5, 7-5.

"It was tough," said Hewitt-Steiger, who had about 15 family members from the Lewiston area cheering him on. "After that first match, as soon as I got off the court I knew I was going to start cramping later on. … The first set in the finals, I started cramping up and I knew it was going to be a really tough match."

In the end, he willed his way to the victory.

"He was just a little more consistent, a little tougher than me," Mulhern said.

• Eagle's Andrew Tzeng finished off his second straight undefeated mixed-doubles season. Last year, he won the title with Allie Greer. This time around, Tzeng, a sophomore, won the state title with Riley Hunt. They defeated Hillcrest's Curtis Calder and Lindsey Hall.

• The Boise duo of Jace Parker and John Lyons won the boys doubles title. They defeated Rocky Mountain's Jasper Been and Ryan Hall.

4A

Caldwell's Jenni Perkins won girls singles, defeating Bonneville's Nacha Narumikluna 6-1, 6-3. … The Skyview team of Brittney and Lindsey Washburn took third to help the Hawks win the team title with 29 points. Century (25) finished second, and Bonneville was third (25).

3A

The Fruitland girls (62 points) won their third state title in a row. They were followed by Parma (53) and Community School (17). … The Fruitland boys (54) brought home the first state title in the program's history. Parma (41) was second, followed by Weiser (22).

Chris Langrill: 377-6424

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