BREMERTON — Olympic’s Keaton Dean and Aidan Ortega did not play as well as they had hoped at the West Central District 2A tennis tournament, but they did well enough to qualify for the state tournament in the spring.
Dean and Ortega started off by defeating Dylan Toomey and Paul Bauer of Steilacoom, but in the semifinals, they were faced with a rematch of the Olympic League final against Nate Blanchard and Justus Jagodzinske of North Kitsap.
The pair from North Kitsap were victorious this time, winning 6-1, 6-4, and they would go on to win the entire tournament.
Although Ortega was playing on a sprained ankle, Olympic head coach Jon O’Connor said he and Dean did not quite play up to their potential. After a close first set, O’Connor said his team committed a few unforced errors, and the opponents were able to take advantage of every mistake.
“They certainly didn’t play their best tennis, but Justus and Nate did a good job finishing the deal,” said O’Connor. “They didn’t open any doors for us, that’s for sure.
“They’re two evenly matched teams,” the coach added. “If we were to play ten matches with those guys, both teams would win a few of them, it would be pretty close.”
After the loss, Dean and Ortega moved on to the third place game for another rematch from the Olympic League tournament, this time with Dawson Clark and Ethan Sax of Kingston. After losing to Dean and Ortega in the league tournament, Clark and Sax prevailed at districts.
Dean and Ortega will be the fourth seed at the state tournament at the end of the spring season.
— Mark Krulish is a reporter at Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at email@example.com.