Trojan Sophomore Claims Her Second State Tennis Title
As the defending state singles tennis champion, Mililani sophomore Alyssa Tobita could count on receiving every opponent’s best effort this spring.
She credited her team-mates with helping her meet the challenge. “Each team member pushes each other,” said Tobita, who recently repeated as state champion. “I kept my intensity up throughout the year. Every match, I felt I was up for it. It wasn’t hard to keep up my level of play because I had all of my teammates
at practice with me.”
In addition to Tobita winning the singles title again, Mililani also had qualified four doubles teams, including Dani Terukina/Taryn Kimura, Shayna Hokama/Teri Hamada, Kaycee Oyama/Kristen Mock and Kelsey Kennell/Lauren Jyo. Kennell and Jyo reached the quarterfinal round before being eliminated.
Team unity was among the Trojans’ biggest strengths, according to Tobita.
“They’re like my second family,” she said. “We hang out a lot outside of tennis. I love all of them. Knowing I’m playing with my best friends makes everything more fun.” (Mililani is led by a new staff that includes head coach Jason Agsalda and assistants Stomberg Gaditano and Jason Tamura.)
For her part, Tobita entered the singles competition as the second seed overall. She won matches over Marissa Williams (Seabury Hall), Scout Shutter (Punahou) and Cori Cummings (Le Jardin) to reach the finals, where she defeated Waiakea’s Sarah Dvorak (6-4, 7-5) for the second year in a row.
Dvorak, also a sophomore, was seeded first and Tobita was seeded fifth in 2011 before going on to win the tournament as a freshman. “I’d say it was just as hard this year as last year,” she said. “I had a higher seed this time, but the amount of pressure I was feeling evened it out.”
With back-to-back state titles, Tobita has an opportunity to become only the second tennis player to win four high school singles titles in Hawaii. Mililani’s Erin Hoe accomplished that feat in 1997 through 2000. “I’m not thinking that far ahead, although many people have mentioned that to me. I try to focus on one year at a time. Sarah will always be in the draw, so it will always be hard.”
Tobita also won a second consecutive OIA singles title last month. The Trojan girls team finished overall first in the West.