EAST WENATCHEE — Eastmont tennis player Bekah Waterhouse has been in the mix to qualify for the state tournament twice before, only to be denied. But now she’s a little bigger, a little stronger, and just may have the experience to finally reach the big dance.
Now a junior, Waterhouse is just one of 10 tennis players or doubles teams of note the World has picked out for this spring’s season.
“(Waterhouse) just missed state by one match as a freshman, but she’s very competitive,” said Eastmont tennis coach Terry Valdez. “She’s bigger and stronger in terms of strength, she’s always had fabulous footwork — she’s really developed.”
Waterhouse’s conditioning has also picked up, thanks not only to successful basketball season, but also a new 22-station circuit training regimen developed by assistant coach Lance Lorrain and BioSports that the Wildcats are employing.
“Bekah was great right out of the blocks. She’d just been to state basketball and gotten done that Saturday, and (two days later) she just came out enthused and was very involved,” Valdez said. “She used to just beat people from the backcourt, nut now she’s starting to work on her short court game and stronger serve.”
Here’s a look at other notable prep tennis players or doubles teams around the region.
Ciara Rasmussen, jr., Quincy
The No. 1 singles player for the Jacks, has been practicing with the Quincy boys (coached by her father Alan) in preparation for the 2011 season. Is not overly powerful or fast, but is solid in both areas.
Olivia Arizmendi, jr./Claudia Valenzuela, jr., Quincy
After teaming up for the Jacks late in 2010, they’ll be Quincy’s No. 1 doubles team this spring. Aggressive in coming to the net.
Stephanie O’Bryan sr./Mikela Kowatsch. jr., Cashmere
O’Bryan, a senior, and Kowatsch, a junior, qualified for state in doubles last season.
Brittany Webster, jr., Brewster
As a sophomore, Webster was the state runner-up in 1A singles. She did not lose a set at state until the finals.
Clint Vidano, jr., Wenatchee
Has won two Class 4A state doubles championships in his two seasons at Wenatchee, and won three consecutive USTA regional tournaments in the winter. Will miss the first five matches of the season after a violation of the school’s athletic code while on at a tournament in Idaho in the offseason.
Hudson Barnhart, jr., Wenatchee
Panther coach Ron Zielinski said his court speed is improved from a year ago, when he was upset in the quarterfinals of the Class 4A singles tournament. Turned heads by winning the USTA sectional tournament in Oregon in August beating teammate Vidano along the way.
Connor Sears, sr./Hunter Sears, soph., Ephrata
This tandem of brothers posted a 17-7 record for the Tigers last spring at first doubles and came a win shy of the state tournament. Co-coach Deanna Brown said they may play some singles this season.
Nick Schultz, sr., Liberty Bell
Made noise at the Class 1B/2B/1A state tournament last spring, however it was with since-graduated doubles partner Jake Giesen.
Brett Hendrick, sr., Tonasket
Hendrick finished sixth in singles in the state 1A tournament last season.