Charles Wright Academy’s Philip and Teddy Grenley had face a familiar opponent during the Class 1A/2B/1B state doubles’ finals Saturday at the Yakima Tennis Club.
It’s not the easiest thing to have to face teammates in your final high school match, but that is what the Grenleys did in an all-Tarriers showdown against Dylan and Tyler Sam, also brothers.
Joking on court-change breaks, but all business during action, the Grenley twins left the high school ranks the same way they started — state champions.
They toppled the Sam siblings, 6-2, 6-1, to become the first doubles team to ever win four consecutive state titles.
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“We practiced very hard, and worked really hard. We earned it,” Philip Grenley said. “But we’d be nowhere without our coaches and this team.”
Charles Wright Academy coach Reini Vanderheyd said when the team’s season ended in the fall, the Grenleys were easily the best doubles team in the state.
And when they returned this spring to focus on capturing a record-setting fourth state title, Vanderheyd said they were even better.
“They wanted to create history,” Vanderheyd said.
Teddy Grenley said their offseason focus was sharpening communication — and the mental aspect of playing together.
This spring, not only did they play a lot of tennis together, Philip also ran the 800 and 1,600 meters for the Charles Wright track team, qualifying for districts.
They also performed in a school stage production together (their mom is a trained actress).
“It’s been busy,” Teddy Grenley said.
For the finals Saturday, in front of a good-sized cheering section, the Grenleys played another brand of flawless tennis against the Tarriers’ No. 2 duo.
“We loosened up because they are our friends, and our teammates,” Philip Grenley said. “They complimented us, and we complimented them.”
The Sams will have one more shot at a state title next year. Tyler Sam is a junior; Dylan is a sophomore.
“We’ve seen them play many times at school practices,” Vanderheyd said. “To see it at the state championship level was unique and very thrilling.”
Junior Ty Gentry also became a multiple state champion in tennis. This time it was for a different school — Tumwater.
Gentry, who won the 2A title season at Capital, repeated Saturday with a 6-1, 6-0 triumph over Olympic’s Tye Loan in the championship match at the Nordstrom Tennis Center in Seattle.
State singles placers in Class 4A included Jefferson’s Alex Chan (third in singles), and Olympia’s Jamie Bautista (fourth) and Ryan Adams (seventh) on the boys side, and Gig Harbor’s Joyce Park (fourth), and Timberline’s Angela Schuster (fifth) on the girls side.
State singles placers in 3A included Auburn’s Bryan Thornquist (seventh in singles) on the boys side, and North Thurston’s Ainsley Winterrowd (fifth) on the girls side.
State-placing boys double squads included Stadium’s Blake Wilcox and Garrett Merz (fourth in 4A); Olympia’s Kyle Wooten and Will Berghoff (fifth); Bellarmine Prep’s Joe Lyon and Elliot Gardner (seventh); and Jefferson’s Cameron Martin and Donavan Gomez (eighth).
Also, Peninsula’s Christian Lewis and Hayden Skidmore placed fifth in 3A.
State-placing girls doubles squads included Jefferson’s Rileigh Qualls and Crystal Lee (fifth in 4A); and Enumclaw’s Kylie Rademacher and Mariah Bone (fifth in 3A), and Lincoln’s Miriam Cabrera and Lilly Le (seventh).