WAILUKU - It all came down to the No. 1 doubles match on Thursday, and the Baldwin High School girls tennis team had a pair of freshmen on the court against Kamehameha Maui.
Kayla Bisqueira and Nicole Matsui weren't about to let their older teammates down.
The duo's 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (0) win over Mikayla Lau and Mehana Fisher gave the Bears a 3-2 team victory in a playoff for the Maui Interscholastic League's Eastern Division title at Wells Park.
Kayla Bisqueira gets ready to hit a return during a 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (0) win for her and Baldwin High School teammate Nicole Matsui over Kamehameha Maui’s Mikayla Lau and Mehana Fisher on Thursday at Wells Park in the Bears’ 3-2 victory over the Warriors in the Maui Interscholastic League East Division championship playoff.
The Maui News / KYLE SAKAMOTO photo
Kylee Kato of Kamehameha Maui recorded straight-set wins in both of her matches Thursday.
The Maui News / KYLE SAKAMOTO photo
"Getting on the court, the first set was a little tough," Bisqueira said. "Tonight they brought a lot to the table and we just battled it out with our hearts."
The playoff was necessary because Baldwin, Kamehameha Maui and King Kekaulike all finished the regular season 6-2. The Bears won a coin flip, meaning the Warriors and Na Alii had to play earlier in the day at Kahului Community Center. Kamehameha won that match 3-2.
"That could have been a big factor mentally," said Warriors coach Kathy Kanemitsu. "The first game we played with King K, we really wanted to win and we expended a lot of energy on that. But you can't take anything away from Baldwin. They're a great team."
The Bears are Warriors are in the MIL team playoffs - Baldwin will play St. Antho-ny in today's semifinal round, and Kamehameha will take on Lahainaluna.
In Thursday's match against Baldwin, Kamehameha's Ky-lee Kato won at No. 1 singles, and Sarah Ikioka won at No. 2, both in straight sets. The Bears' Molly Murai swept at No. 3 singles and Amanda Barr and Kiara Cummings-Carone did the same at No. 2 doubles.
"It was a tough match. It was really close," Matsui said. "There was a lot of energy all around us. My partner here, her support carried me throughout the match, too."
Bisqueira and Matsui have played together the last four years in junior matches.
"It is different in high school tennis," said Baldwin coach Kari Nunokawa. "The cheering is a lot louder and there is a little more pressure because of school pride. They did get a little nervous, but they pulled it out in the end."
Bisqueira and Matsui both feel they've made great strides in their freshman seasons.
"At the beginning of the year, we didn't know much about high school tennis," Matsui said. "I feel we've grown a lot and our knowledge of high school tennis has been expanded."
* Kyle Sakamoto is at email@example.com
BALDWIN GIRLS 3, KAMEHAMEHA MAUI 2
No. 1 singles-Kylee Kato, Kamehameha Maui, def. Jessica Pressman 6-2, 6-0. No. 2 singles-Sarah Ikioka, Kamehameha Maui, def. Malorie Murakami 6-0, 6-3. No. 3 singles-Molly Murai, Baldwin, def. Annie Ohashi-Sides 6-1, 6-4. No. 1 doubles-Nicole Matsui and Kayla Bisqueira, Baldwin, def. Mikayla Lau and Mehana Fisher 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (0). No. 2 doubles-Amanda Barr and Kiara Cummings-Carone, Baldwin, def. Quincy Taguchi and Michelle Nakashima 6-1, 6-3.
KAMEHAMEHA MAUI GIRLS 3, KING KEKAULIKE 2
No. 1 singles-Kylee Kato, Kamehameha Maui, def. Jaelyn Domingo 6-0, 6-0. No. 2 singles-Mikayla Lau, Kamehameha Maui, def. Nicole Armour 6-3, 6-2. No. 3 singles-Charlotte Clarke, King Kekaulike, def. Annie Ohashi-Sides 6-1, 6-1. No. 1 doubles-Sarah Ikioka and Mehana Fisher, Kamehameha Maui, def. Emi Abe and Jaccie Hisahiwa 6-4, 6-2. No. 2 doubles-Clair Gregas and Alenette Ballesteros, King Kekaulike, def. Quincy Taguchi and Michelle Nakashima 6-0, 6-1.