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CK does the math
TACOMA Most people tend to think theyre sisters. Others simply see them as something akin to the Three Amigos.
The truth is, theyre a little bit of both.
Central Kitsaps Sugimotos twin sisters Aya and Sachi and unrelated Katherine dont let the similarities end with their shared last name. All three tennis players are sophomores. Theyre all friends since junior high, spending time together off the court as well as on it. Theyve been classmates since elementary school. All have been playing tennis since about age 7 (Katherine took a break to focus on ballet until seventh grade).
But what the threesome really hopes to share is a trip to districts, then state.
Its a good start, Central Kitsap coach Ken Allen said after the trio each won its opening matches at the Narrows League Tennis Tournament Wednesday at the University of Puget Sound. Theyre a really tight-knit group. Theyre friends in and out of tennis.
When Allen first saw three Sugimotos on his roster, he thought the same thing most do.
At first, it was just like everyone else, Allen said. Whats the relation? They said, No relation. Just a coincidence. Its just kind of an interesting and funny thing.
Aya, CKs No. 1 singles player, said the trio all got along from the start. Katherine and Sachi are CKs No. 1 doubles squad.
Yeah, it was really funny because Sachi and Katherine play doubles but theyre not related, she said. We all just got along right there. Weve pretty much always been together.
Having been in the same kindergarten class helps forge those bonds too.
My mom went to look at the class list, Katherine said of that kindergarten class. She saw three Sugimotos and said, It must be a mistake.
Standing around with the girls, you can tell theyve been friends for a long time, often finishing each others thoughts and sentences.
Were like best friends, Katherine said.
Definitely, Sachi agreed. On the court and off the court.
Since all three also play at the Bremerton Tennis and Athletic Club, that friendship has also helped them push each other to become better players. All three also compete in USTA events.
The Sugimotos work so hard, Allen said. Theyre definitely not tennis-season only players. Theyre year-round players. Its great having them come back and have that preparation.
Last year, Aya played singles during the bulk of the regular season before teaming up with Sachi to form a doubles tandem that ended up sixth at league before dropping out at the district tourney. Sachi and Katherine had been partners most of the season.
We didnt play that much doubles (before last year), Aya said. It was something that was really different. I think it took a bit of time to get used to.
It was a good experience, Sachi said.
While the experiment was beneficial for the sisters, Aya said she prefers singles and Sachi said if she wasnt playing with Katherine, shed probably be doing the same.
Katherine would be the only doubles partner Id play with, Sachi said.
Itd be weird playing with someone else, Katherine added.
This year, Aya has entered and clinched a district singles spot, while Sachi and Katherine have done the same on doubles. Ultimately, it takes the trio one step closer to their goals.
Just make it to state, Katherine said.
Im definitely not going to give up, Aya added. You really dont know what happens until the end.
While the Narrows League tournament wrapped up Friday (results were unavailable at press time), the West Central District tournament will take place Wednesday, May 17 at 8 a.m. at Sprinker Recreation Center in Tacoma.