Southsider Voice correspondent
The era of the Kawamoto tennis twins ended just a bit earlier than Greenwood followers had hoped in Saturday’s state finals at Park Tudor.
Jackie Kawamoto, the 2013 singles state champion, turned the No. 1 reins to twin sister Jade Kawamoto when the season began. It was a bold move by Jackie, who gave up her No. 1 team ranking so that her sister eventually could compete for the state title.
Jade lived up to the pre-finals hype Friday by disposing of Terre Haute South sophomore Lauren Hambrock 6-2, 6-0. A slow starter, Jade fell behind 1-0 in the first set but rallied for a 3-2 lead and dominated the rest of the way.
She easily disposed of Crown Point junior Qing Wen 6-1, 6-0 to set up the championship match against Bloomington South junior Denise Azcui, who defeated 2013 state singles runner-up Bailey Padgett, a Carmel senior, 6-2, 6-3. Jackie Kawamoto downed Padgett 7-6, 6-1 for the 2013 crown.
Jade opened strong against Azcui by taking a 4-1 lead before the Bloomington netter began her comeback by winning the next five games for a 6-4 triumph. Jade battled back and tied the second set at 4-4, but Azcui prevailed down the stretch for another 6-4 win and the title.
The previously unbeaten Jade finished the season 26-1.
Jackie, whose season at No. 2 singles ended when she won her last match in the team finals at Center Grove, posted a 24-0 record.
The twins will continue their careers at the University of Dayton.
Greenwood fell to No. 5 Park Tudor on June 6 in the first round of the team state finals and finished 19-3.