Top seeds face tough draws in state tennis

Taylor Lau is going for her second straight state title as a sophomore. Darryl Oumi / Special to the Star-Advertiser
Taylor Lau is going for her second straight state title as a sophomore. Darryl Oumi / Special to the Star-Advertiser

Kealakehe’s Michelle Uyeda provided one of the few surprises in the first two rounds of the singles bracket of the Carlsmith Ball / HHSAA State Tennis Championships at Central Oahu Regional Park on Thursday.

Uyeda, who reached the quarterfinals last year before losing to eventual champion Taylor Lau of St. Francis, beat OIA champion Lisa Owen 6-2, 6-3 then took out Kohala’s Gabrielle Bartolome 6-0, 6-1.

A rematch with Lau is next for Uyeda at 8:30 a.m. on Friday. Lau began defense of her title with sweeps. No other seeded player lost.

All eight quarterfinal matches were sweeps. The closest match was in the first round when Kyra Westerberg of Haleakala Waldorf beat Mililani’s Halie Chang 7-6 (4), 3-6 (9).

No seeded players lost in boys singles, either, and two-time defending champion Kawika Lam of Punahou swept both his matches 6-0, 6-0. He will meet OIA champion Andre Ilagan of Farrington in the next round.

Six of the eight quarterfinal matches in boys singles were sweeps, but Mid-Pacific’s Seann Esaki survived a scare to beat OIA runner up Zion Heaven of Campbell 6-4, 7-6 (5) and Hawaii Prep’s Junichi Minakata survived a match with Gil Assi of Hilo 5-7, 6-1 (7).

All of the seeds in boys doubles held up as well, ‘Iolani’s Jordan Azuma and Phuc Hyunh are the top seed and take on Kalani’s Rayden and Koby Murata.

The only upset in girls doubles came in the first round when Mililani’s Erin Jyo and Kaua Beamer took out sixth-seeded Marissa Hayashi and Jordan Melcher of Waiakea 6-2, 6-3.

As with Uyeda’s win over Owen, the doubles upset was not a huge shock. Jyo and Beamer swept their first two matches in the OIA championships but had to default the rest of the tournament when they had another commitment on the day of the championships.

Sarah Ikioka and Kylee Kato of Kamehameha-Maui are the top seed and didn’t drop a game in the first two rounds.

Punahou leads the team standings in both the boys and girls. Kalani and Mid-Pacific are tied for second in the boys and Mid-Pacific is behind the Buffanblu in the girls.

The Punahou boys have won the team title 24 years in a row and the girls have ruled for the past 12 years.

The complete draws can be found here:


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