Bellevue shows strength against Spokane

Photograph by Nathan Krohn

There were hostile overcast skies with threatening rain when Spokane Community College travelled to Robinswood Tennis Center to face the BC women’s tennis team.  It was the second time the two schools had faced each other this season, and Bellevue was looking for a clean sweep for the season.

Number one and two ranked on the team were Anissa Bryant-Swift and Martha Santos. Both second year players led off the day with singles matches on the outdoor courts.

Bryant-Swift’s powerful forehand made it difficult for her Spokane opponent to maintain rallies and stay competitive in the match. Every under hit ball or small misstep Bryant-Swift would jump all over, crushing any hopes her opponent had of staying in the match. Number three-ranked player, Jazi Ahyat, who was out with an elbow injury but still came to cheer on her teammates, commented that, “Anissa looks light on her feet. She’s really playing well today.” Bryant-Swift went on to breeze through her singles match 6-1, 6-0, narrowly missing a double bagel.

Playing on the adjacent court, second ranked player Martha Santos had similar ease with her opponent. Santos, with her exact ball placement, had her opponent running from line to line, creating mistakes and easy points. That, combined with Santos’ devastating forehand, resulted in  much frustration from her opponent. After Santos caught the Spokane player leaning to one side, she came back with a strong forehand to the opposite court, freezing her opponent, forcing her to throw her hands up in frustration and mumble out “What can I do?” as she walked to retrieve the ball.

Santos won her singles match 6-2, 6-0.

In between matches the girls went inside to escape from the cold and relax, telling jokes and laughing with one another as they waited for their next turn on the court.

Jullie Le, a freshman from Cleveland High School in Seattle, and Karanpreet Kaur, a freshman from Lindbergh High School, took the courts next for Bellevue, but didn’t get very far in their singles matches before the tempered skies opened up once and for all. Coach Jason Chapman of Bellevue and Spokane head coach Wally Heidenson both inspected the court before agreeing that it was unfit to continue and the players moved indoors to finish their match. Unfortunately for Bellevue the change of venue proved detrimental as Le and Kaur both lost 6-3, 6-0 and 6-1, 6-3.

Bellevue held on to the overall lead over Spokane going in to doubles matches, but had some question marks as to how things would play out. As stated before, Santos’s normal doubles partner Ahyat was out with an elbow injury. She was forced to play with Kaur, a partner she had never been with in a doubles match before, but when the two began playing it was impossible to tell it was their first match together.

“Oh my god, what am I doing?!” the Spokane player shouted, scolding herself for not being able to return a Santos forehand. At one point, both Spokane players were standing near the back line, showing clear respect to Santos’ dominant serve. Santos and Kaur took their doubles match 6-4, 6-4.

Bryant-Swift was partnered with sophomore Amber Portka and the two breezed through 6-1, 6-2.

The last match of the day was a doubles match featuring Nicole Smith and Elynn Wu. Smith, recently coming off foot surgery, skipped her singles match as she was still working her way back into game shape.

Wu and Smith played well together at times, forcing a third set, but Spokane appeared to be too much in this match, as Bellevue fell 6-3,1-6,3-6.

The lady Bulldogs took the overall team win with a score of 6-3 and completed the season sweep of Spokane. They play next on May 5 at Robinswood before entering postseason play at the NWAACC championships in Spokane.