2014 Tennis States Spotlight

2014 Tennis States Spotlight

Jessica Brown

Practicing before the first day of states.

Isabel Steinhoff, Reporter

On April 30, 2014, three Cowgirls and three Cowboys flew over to Maui for the 2014 Hawaii High School Althletic Association tennis state championships.  The six tennis players were accompanied by their two coaches, Hermann Fernandez and Jessica Brown. This was the most tennis players Kohala has taken to states since Hermann Fernandez has been coaching, which has been 25 years. It was pretty cool that Kohala was represented by their first boys and girls singles; Jamesen Keyes and Gabrielle Bartolome, and first boys and girls doubles; Skyler Marcom-Robinson and Michael Bartolome, Kassie Kometani and Isabel Steinhoff.

Jamesen Keyes
Jamesen practicing the day before his first round of states.

Jamesen Keyes is part of the 2017 freshmen class. He has been playing tennis since he could pretty much hold a racquet. Coach Hermann has been coaching him ever since then and couldn’t wait until Jamesen came up to high school. He has been a dedicated tennis player, along with fellow teammates Gabrielle and Michael Bartolome. Jamesen did really well for his first season of high school tennis, placing 4th at the Big Island Interscholastic Federation championships, and making it to the second round at states.

When asked how his first year playing went, he answered like any average teenage boy with “great.” Because of his experience with  tennis tournaments before he said that states was pretty much what he expected it to be and felt he played fairly well. He said the most exciting part of states was when he played the 3rd seed in the second round because he likes playing people that are better than he is. His goal for next year is to make it to at least the 3rd or 4th round in the HHSAA state championship tournament.

“Did you have fun?” “Yeah” He is a boy of many words. It was tough getting him to talk about his experience.

Gabrielle Bartolome is part of the sophomore class of 2016. She is a returnee from last year’s tennis team and tried cross country for the first time this year. Gabrielle has also been playing tennis for a long time as well and has been coached by Hermann Fernandez too. Last year she did pretty well, especially the fact that she qualified for states as a freshman! She, Skyler, and Michael were the three that qualified for last year’s states. This year Gabrielle was seeded 4th for girls singles in the BIIF tournament and earned her 3rd place spot at the championships in the end.   This means that Gabrielle is number 3 on the island!

“How did you feel when you got 3rd place at BIIFs?”

Gabrielle Bartolome
Gabrielle putting up a fight in her first round at states against Punahou.

“I wanted to cry because I was so happy after I won the match that placed me 3rd. I lost in a super tight match earlier in the season to the same girl I played for 3rd. So beating her 6-3, 6-2 felt so amazing! I could not keep a smile off my face after.”

Because she made it to states last year, she was asked how her experience was this year compared to last years. She answered, “I think my states experience this year was better than last year and hopefully it’ll keep getting better throughout my years in high school. Even though I lost during the first round at states, I can say I played my best in that match and during the high school season. After the first round it was vacation and relaxation for the rest of the week! What made it especially amazing was that we got to travel to Maui. I loved the support we all got from the other big island teams in the tournament too.”

When I asked her if she felt excited, scared, or nervous, she said she was “definitely excited and overjoyed!” She also said that she wasn’t really nervous because she has been playing for so long. The most exciting thing for Gabrielle from states was watching the the close matches in the finals because she could just feel the “electricity” in the air from all the competition and tension. She definitely felt different about this years states compared to last years because she left like she really earned her spot, even with the thinking that she might not have made it. “My blood, sweat, and tears eventually paid off and I was so relieved when I had a spot at states.” Her goal for next year is the same as every year, make it to states by playing her game tough and smart.

Congratulations to all the qualifiers for this year’s HHSAA tennis state championship!