Familiar foes in state tennis final


POSTED: Saturday, May 09, 2009

Kevin Caulfield passed his own personal stress test at the Carlsmith Ball/Hawaii High School Athletic Association State Tennis Championships at Central Oahu Regional Park courts yesterday.

The fourth-seeded Caulfield of Punahou upset No. 1 seed Matthew Westmoreland of Island Pacific Academy 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in a match that took nearly 3 hours to complete.

In a grueling battle of long baseline rallies punctuated with guttural grunts by both competitors, Caulfield had just enough to outlast Westmoreland, who saved three match points before finally succumbing in the final set.

“;I'm a senior, this is my last year,”; said a spent Caulfield after the match. “;I had to fight to the end.”;

Caulfield will face second-seeded Jared Spiker of Kalani in today's singles final. Spiker, a junior, beat seventh-seeded Josh Wong of Hilo 7-5, 6-0.

On the girls' side of the draw, two familiar foes will square off for the title for the second consecutive year.

Two-time defending singles champion Kristin Lim of Punahou takes on Jackie Owens of Lahainaluna in a rematch of last year's final.

Lim dispatched third-seeded Sayo Tsukamoto of Kealakehe 6-1, 6-2 in just over an hour.

The senior, who teamed with Ashley Ohira to win the state doubles championship in her freshman year, is undefeated in singles and doubles play over four years of high school competition.

The key to taking her third straight singles title tomorrow?

“;Play with a purpose,”; she said. “;Run every single ball down, even balls I miss. Just going out there and playing my game and going for it.”;

Owens beat Hawaii Baptist's Mari Tadaki, the No. 4 seed, 6-2, 6-3.

Punahou's Erik Pang and Hiroshi Hikida, the top-seeded boys duo, face 'Iolani's Kyle Shiroma and Brent Hashiba in the boys doubles final.

Pang and Hikida dispatched fifth-seeded Spencer Choy and Devin Anderson of 'Iolani 6-3, 7-6 (5). The second-seeded Shiroma and Hashiba turned back Punahou's William Chen and Brandon Lee, the No. 4 seed, 6-4, 6-3.

The Buffanblu's Ashley Nakaoka and Jennifer Laws, the top-seeded girls doubles team, rallied to defeat third-seeded Kelly Domingo and Kelsey Daguio of Sacred Hearts 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Nakaoka and Laws will take on Nikki Castel and Bobbi Oshiro of 'Iolani in today's final. The second-seeded Raiders duo defeated the No. 4 seed, Adrienne Hamada and Kimberly Takara of Mililani, 6-4, 6-3.

Punahou is poised to claim both team titles. Going into today's finals matches, the Buffanblu boys have 16 points, leading ILH rival 'Iolani (12) and Kalani (five). The Punahou girls hold a commanding lead with 13 points. Hawaii Baptist and Kealakehe are tied for second place with five points.