Tennis: St. Helens doubles team takes third at state
Madison Kaplan and Lexi Normine defeated Emily Hollander and Madison Penn of Marist 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-2 to claim third place at the 5A Doubles Championships
After a magical, unbeaten run in league play and wins in the two rounds of the girls tennis championships, the dynamic duo from St. Helens won third place at the OSAA 5A doubles tournament, beating the Marist doubles representatives 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-2 for a bow on their final season at St. Helens High School.
Seniors Madison Kaplan and Lexi Normine started off the tournament with a 6-4 6-0 victory over twins Keren and Keziah Hampton of Hermiston on Thursday evening, moving on to a morning match against Corvallis sisters Morgan and Marin Woods, winning their second match in three sets, 5-7, 6-2, 7-5.
The third place match on Saturday morning, against Emily Hollander and Madison Penn of Marist, would be their longest of the tournament. The Marist pair had a history of long sets throughout the championship tournament, playing to three sets in their first and quarterfinal matches, but Kaplan and Normine had swept the first round and won in regulation in the quarterfinals. They then fell for the first time in recent memory, losing 6-4 6-0 to Kelsey Collis and Morgan DeMeyer of Summit – the first time in the tournament that Kaplan and Normine didn't face sisters – in the semis on Friday evening.
And following a run of regulation matches, the first set of the third-place match early on Saturday morning threw the streak on it's head. Hollander and Penn pushed things to the brink, eventually fighting to win the tiebreaker 5-3 and take the first set 7-6.
Kaplan and Normine, who hadn't lost three sets in a row in the entirety of the league season, had an answer, cleaning up the final two sets and closing out Marist by winning the final two sets to put a cap on their fantastic run.
Madison Kaplan and Lexi Normine, St. Helens, def. Keren Hampton and Keziah Hampton, Pendleton, 6-4, 6-0.
Madison Kaplan and Lexi Normine, St. Helens, def. Morgan Wood and Marin Wood, Corvallis, 5-7, 6-2, 7-5
Kelsey Collis and Morgan DeMeyer, Summit, def. Madison Kapland and Lexi Normine, St. Helens, 6-0, 6-4.
Madison Kaplan and Lexi Normine, St. Helens, def. Emily Hollander and Madison Penn, Marist, 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-2.