High school tennis: Rincon/Univ. duo gains confidence while reaching state quarterfinals

2014-05-02T00:00:00Z High school tennis: Rincon/Univ. duo gains confidence while reaching state quarterfinalsBy Jason Harris Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
May 02, 2014 12:00 am  • 

Wednesday’s first-round loss in the Division II state tournament ended any hopes the Rincon/University girls tennis team had of winning a Division II team state title.

However, the Rangers’ Catherine Waters and Carrie Bell Kent are still alive in the doubles bracket and hoping to bring home some hardware this weekend.

The fourth-seeded pair won all but two matches in the regular season and are in the quarterfinals this year after losing in the first round the last two seasons.

“We’ve never been seeded before,” Waters said. “It’s a confidence booster.”

Waters and Kent cruised 6-0, 6-0 through the first two matches of this year’s tournament and won 7-6 (7-2), 6-1 Melissa Mahon and Maggie Lembke of Flagstaff on Thursday at Rincon to advance to today’s quarterfinal round at Paseo Racquet Center in Glendale.

“They don’t mess around,” coach David Blackwell said. “They are all business on the court.”

The Star recently caught up with the pair and their coach to find out more about how they feel about this weekend as they’re playing their best to date:

Catherine Waters
  • Year
  • : Senior
  • Height
  • : 5 feet 6 inches
  • Best part about playing doubles
  • : “I like how it’s more of a team effort. There’s a lot more strategy to it. You can’t just be good at tennis, it’s a completely different game.”
  • Favorite thing about my partner
  • : “I just like the way we work together and the chemistry we have. We’ve been playing together for three years and get along just as people. We have similar playing styles and personalities and support each other really well and keep each other focused.”
  • Coach’s take
  • : “She has one of the best serves in town. She’s a strong, aggressive player with a big forehand that plays smart tennis. She’s her own coach on the court.” — Blackwell
Carrie Bell Kent
  • Year
  • : Junior
  • Height
  • : 5 feet 5 inches
  • Best part about playing doubles
  • : “We love working together. It’s so much fun trying to figure out how to cooperate and get each other through the matches mentally. It’s easier to not just have to rely on yourself but know that you have back up that will support you.”
  • Favorite thing about my partner
  • :
  • “We get along really well. It’s really nice because I know when I’m frustrated, Catherine will say something funny and I’ll immediately smile and get back into the game. We get each other.”
  • Coach’s take
  • : “She works hard. She’s a fighter with an excellent return serve. She’s not afraid to attack and go for it.” — Blackwell

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