Sasha Gaeth and Gunnar Thorstenson save their best tennis for State

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sasha Gaeth, Gunnar Thorstenson, Coach Arnie Moreno

By Arnie Moreno

Shorewood's Sasha Gaeth and Gunnar Thorstenson saved their best tennis for the WIAA 3A State Tennis Tournament in Kennewick, Washington. Both came away from the tournament with medals and high praise for their play and outstanding sportsmanship.

Sophomore Gaeth won three straight set matches to set up a meeting with the top senior player from Lakeside high school. The semi-final match before the final may have been the best match of her life so far.

Sasha Gaeth wearing her 2nd place medal
with Coach Arnie Moreno
It was a showdown between her and a wild card player that was unknown to state players. The player was a Czech Republic exchange student, for North Thurston high school, who played with power and pace that her opponents could not handle.

The match was a showdown between the North Thurston player's power and the Shorewood player's finesse, control and all around court play. Gaeth dropped the first two games in the first set before regrouping and reeling off 6 straight games with surgical precision to win the first set 6-2.

The second set was highlighted by many long rallies with the T-Bird's precision shots wearing her opponent down. Gaeth took the lead for good while serving with a 3-2 lead and won the set 6-2 to advance to the championship final. She met up with one of the top senior players in the state, from Lakeside.

Her opponent had come close for three years before breaking into the singles final this year to meet up with Gaeth. The final was a battle of Sasha's pace and power and her Lakeside opponent's control and precision. Gaeth lost a hard fought battle to place 3-6, 3-6 to place second in state. The T-Bird improved from her last year's 4th place. She is excited to return to state next year and will be considered as a top favorite for the title.

Gunnar Thorstenson wearing his 4th place medal
Shorewood's Gunnar Thorstenson worked hard on his game and skills this last year after placing 3rd in the District 1 tournament last Fall. He started the tournament with a strong 6-2, 6-3 win versus a highly regarded freshman from Lakeside. 

He lost a tough battle in his second match versus a state placer from Capital High School. Thorstenson came back to dominate a Southridge opponent 6-0, 6-2 to set up a match for 4th or 7th. In a battle of endurance, the T-Bird defeated his Stadium High School opponent in a long three set match. 

After Thorstenson won his first set 6-1 the match took an extreme change. He lost his second set in a tense tiebreaker 6-7 ( 5-7 ). Thorstenson refocused his strategy and came back to win in a convincing 6-1 third set to claim the 4th place medal. He is excited to return next year and prove he can place higher.

Congratulations to the Shorewood players who represented their teams, school and Shoreline community with excellent play and effort and outstanding sportsmanship. Gaeth and Thorstenson can't wait until next year to return to the state tournament.


1 comments:

Anonymous,  May 29, 2017 at 10:25 AM  

Gunnar Thorstenson is the THE MAN!!!

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