KINGSTON — Danya Wallis has only one more hill to climb.
The North Kitsap senior has been on a mission to win four state singles championships. So far, she is 3 for 3 and it won’t be long before the postseason rolls around in early May and her final ascension begins. And that goal is never too far from her mind.
“I think about it all the time,” Wallis said. “When I first made that goal when I was a freshman, I didn’t think it would happen, but now it’s very stressful because I only have one more to win. So hopefully I can get that in May.”
Thankfully, though, it’s still late March and she and her fellow teammates are in the midst of their league season, which is going about as well as it possibly could be.
The Vikings are looking to capture their fifth-consecutive league championship and are off to a 5-0 start after defeating Kingston, 5-2, on March 26.
Wallis herself made a rare appearance in a doubles match, teaming up with Grace Hansen to defeat Kingston’s top doubles pair of Emily Shaleen and Lily Beaulieu, which qualified for the state tournament last season, 6-2, 6-2.
“Part of that is because I’ve coached with [Kingston coach] Terry [Grimm] and she’s always put her strength in doubles because she never wanted to face Danya,” North Kitsap head coach Jordan Prince said. “And part of that is because I knew Kingston had a good doubles team.”
But North Kitsap is quite deep beyond its star player. Anna Bronchal, a foreign exchange student from Spain, is off to a good start this year and she served as the top singles player against Kingston, defeating Montana Thoroughman 6-4, 6-4. Geneva Newell also won a tight match with Kingston’s Emily Ramirez in three sets.
There are also several doubles pairs capable of winning matches any given day, including the sister duo of Amalia and Noelani Barreith. The two became a doubles team when Noelani entered high school last year and, at least according to them, being paired together is for the best.
“We don’t like hurting other people’s feelings, so it’s us,” Amalia, a senior, said.
Their familial bond, competitiveness and all-around athleticism — both play multiple sports — gives them a unique ability to push one another in ways that perhaps other pairings cannot.
“We know what we’re capable of, and when one doesn’t show up or play to the best of their ability, we definitely get on each other for that,” Noelani said.
Their three-set win over Emily Ramirez and Cierra Franklin was the fourth of the day, guaranteeing an overall victory. Jackie Marshall and Chel Sumilhig also won their doubles match against Sanni Wilder and Rachael Winn, 6-3, 6-4.
The league championship is within reach, but North Kitsap still has several tough tests ahead — another match with Kingston, along with two each against Olympic and Sequim.
“We’ll see how it all shakes out,” Prince said.
North Kitsap 5, Kingston 2
No. 1: Anna Bronchal (NK) def. Montana Thoroughman (K) 6-4, 6-4.
No. 2: Geneva Newell (NK) def. Emily Ramirez (K) 4-6, 7-6, 6-3.
No. 3: Sam Young (K) def. Haley Cole (NK) 6-2, 6-2.
No. 1: Danya Wallis/Grace Hansen (NK) def. Emily Shaleen/Lily Beaulieu (K) 6-2, 6-2.
No. 2: Amalia Barreith/Noelani Barreith (NK) def. Emily Ramirez/Cierra Franklin (K) 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-4.
No. 3: Ana Horne/Taylor Sanville (K) def. Jessica Raper/Rachel Griffel (NK) 5-7, 6-4, 3-6.
No. 4: Jackie Marshall/Chel Sumilhig (NK) def. Sanni Wilder/Rachael Winn (K) 6-3, 6-4.
— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.