Borah's Whittaker works to top spot at 5A district tennis

The junior wins 5A District Three boys singles championship.

rroberts@idahostatesman.comMay 11, 2014 

  • BOISE HIGH WINS TEAM TITLES

    The Boise High boys and girls swept the 5A District Three team championships Saturday at Julia Davis Park. Timberline finished as the runner-up for both titles. The Boise girls are the defending state champions, while the boys took second at state last year behind Lewiston.

Throughout his best friend's three-set 5A District Three championship tennis match in boys singles, Noah Bauwens stood steadfast.

With an American flag bandanna tied around his head and the letters "K W" painted in blue and red on his bare chest, Bauwens brushed off intermittent spurts of rain and wind that must have left him with a chill.

Bauwens' friend mirrored his perseverance on the court.

Borah's Kyle Whittaker - who has known Bauwens since they began day care together at 10 weeks old - rallied from a second-set loss for a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 victory over No. 2 John Lyons of Boise to win his first district championship Saturday at Julia Davis Park.

Fifth-seeded Whittaker, a junior, finished second at last year's district tournament and fourth at state.

"The first set was good, and then the second set I started getting tired," Whittaker said. "(John) was making everything. I couldn't get a shot by him. I didn't serve that well in the second."

Whittaker's strong serve returned in the third set, helping him get out to a 5-0 lead before Lyons took a game. In the seventh game of the third set, Whittaker faced match point five times, but held on for the win.

"Serving is my game," Whittaker said.

The top eight from the district tournament in boys singles, girls singles, boys doubles, girls doubles and mixed doubles advance to the 5A state tournament May 16-17.

Matches will be played at the Boise Racquet & Swim Club, Capital High and Borah High. Championship matches are scheduled for 2 p.m. May 17 at Boise Racquet & Swim Club.

Four other district title matches were contested Saturday at Julia Davis. Here are the highlights:

GIRLS SINGLES: Boise junior Bianca Mok made quick work of Eagle's Skylar Schossberger, winning 6-1, 6-1. It was the third district title in a row for the two-time defending state champion, who has not lost a high school match and only one set since she was a freshman.

"I was sick and so was she, so it was a battle," Mok said. "We were both coughing and sniffling, but it was fun."

BOYS DOUBLES: In the only other title match to go three sets, top-seeded Andrew Tzeng and Aurin Bagchi of Eagle secured a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 win against Capital's Parth Raina and Spencer Angstman. Tzeng had won two straight district and state championships at mixed doubles before teaming up with Bagchi this season.

"Both of us, we play tough, keep our focus and we dominate the net," Tzeng said. "... We get along well. We're good friends. That's also part of it, the chemistry."

GIRLS DOUBLES: Top-ranked Kourtney Brown and Brooke Hadley of Timberline avenged their only loss of the season by topping Boise's Hailey Boyd and Ella Samer 6-2, 6-3.

"We just kept the energy high and really went for it," Brown said. "We knew that this was a big match for us."

MIXED DOUBLES: Meridian's Hannah Uhlenkott and David Galway haven't been playing together all season, but that didn't seem to matter. No. 4 Uhlenkott and Galway upended No. 1 Quincee Kingston and Braden Riley of Vallivue 6-3, 6-1 for their first district championship.

"She likes to get mad, and I like to calm people down," Galway said.

Added Uhlenkott: "I play better when I get mad. I like to get pumped and he gets a little bit more pumped now, I think, because of me. I've seen a few fistpumps."

Rachel Roberts: 377-6422, Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX

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