Sports

Rebecca Leff earns spot at tennis Tri-District | Tennis

Rebecca Leff is headed back into the lions' den for the second year in a row.

The Friday Harbor sophomore secured a second-straight berth in the Tri-District tournament by dispatching the Wolves' Lily Doyle 6-3, 6-1, May 8 at the District 1 playoffs in Coupeville.

As always, Head Coach Dick Barnes said, the competition at the Tri-District tournament, which begins May 21 at the Nordstrom Tennis Center in Seattle, promises to be relentless and intense.

"We'll meet the big guns on the 21st," Barnes said. "It's a tough road to hoe down there."

Leff reloaded following a 6-4, 6-0 loss to Coupeville senior Julia Sierra Castano to down Doyle in straight sets. She then earned a trip to Tri-District as teammate Emma Ytander conceded the No. 2 singles berth in what would have been an all-Friday Harbor playoff. Castano captured the No. 1 singles slot.

In two years on the team, Barnes said Leff has earned a reputation as a fierce competitor who chases down and puts back in play just about any ball that's comes her way. She's steady and makes few mistakes, he said.

"Between the ears," Barnes said of what may be Leff's greatest strength on the court. "She thinks pretty well out there. The Coupeville coach says we should probably nickname her 'The Wall'."

The Wolverines faltered in doubles, however, as the Wolves avenged losing three of four Tri-District berths to Friday Harbor a year ago.

Jessica Riddle and Amanda D'Almeida defeated teammates Jessica Blanchette and Jordan Akins in three sets to claim the No. 1 doubles berth. Blanchette and Akins bested Friday Harbor's Hannah Snow and Alex MacDonald in a three-set thriller, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, to clinch the No. 2 doubles slot.

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