Girls Score Two 4th Places and Boys Score a 6th Place
Information and photos from Coach Rothlisberger
The Chelan tennis team traveled to Spokane for the massive 74th annual Inland Empire tennis tournament this weekend, featuring over 50 schools from all size classifications, and over 700 tennis players on 80+ courts.
Due to the size and prestige, it draws a majority of the finest tennis players from eastern Washington and northern Idaho. We slayed many giants, and had several Chelan players that made it to the final rounds.Match play began on Friday, and unfortunately started with a dose of rain. For this reason, the opening round match scoring was switched to “Fast 4s”, where athletes play sets to 4 games rather than 6 games.
The championship matches on Saturday were made difficult by strong winds and cold temperatures – kudos to the competitors for enduring the unfavorable elements. In fact, all of Chelan’s toughest matches this season have been played in strong wind!
In #1 boys singles, senior Tyler Higgins opened up with a loss 2-4, 0-4 to Coeur d’Alene Charter, and was eliminated in a follow-up match with Ellensburg.
#2 boys singles sophomore Aiden Peterson opened with a tough loss to Ephrata, but followed up that win by soundly defeating Deer Park 4-0, 4-2. That earned Aiden a third match on Friday, losing in a close one to Cheney 4-6, 3-6.
In #1 boys doubles, senior Wyatt Habich and junior Tobin Wier endured the worst possible opening round draw, facing #1 seed Kennewick in round 1. After that loss, Tobin and Wyatt battled back through the consolation bracket on Friday, defeating Coeur d’Alene Charter 6-1, 6-0, and sneaking by Ephrata in comeback fashion 4-6, 6-4, (10-7). That earned Wyatt and Tobin a berth into the consolation semi-finals on Saturday morning, where they topped East Valley (Yakima) 6-4, 6-0. In the consolation final, Habich and Wier lost a heartbreaker 6-7, 6-7 to University High of Spokane. That still earned Tobin and Wyatt an impressive 6th place finish out of 39 entries.
Chelan’s #2 boys doubles junior duo of Steven Williams and Eli Phelps began Friday with a sound 4-2, 4-1 victory over Sunnyside, but were subsequently eliminated by the #3 seed Mead in their 2nd round match.
The #3 doubles team of sophomore Jose Torres and freshman Teagen Moody suffered a pair of close defeats on Friday morning, losing 3-4, 3-4 to Central Valley (Spokane) and 3-6, 2-6 to West Valley (Yakima).
On the girls side, our #1 singles entry was unable to make the trip, so freshman Ruby Wier was thrust into action at the last minute, and performed well despite suffering two losses to Post Falls and Walla Walla.
Senior Katelyn Deal was Chelan’s #2 singles entry, and also faced a tough opening match against the eventual tournament runner-up from Selah, but Katelyn rebounded well vs West Valley Yakima, just falling short 3-6, 6-2, (8-10).
#1 girls doubles sisters Sierra and Elle Rothlisberger were the #4 seed in the tournament, and had an undefeated Friday by topping Medical Lake 4-0, 4-0, North Central (Spokane) 6-3, 6-0 and had a comeback victory over Lakeside 5-7, 6-3, (10-4). Those wins earned Sierra and Elle a spot in the championship semifinals on Saturday morning vs the #1 seed from Wenatchee. The Rothlisbergers fell short in that semifinal, and also suffered a close loss to #3 seed Mead in the 3rd/4th place match 3-6, 4-6. Nevertheless, Sierra and Elle earned 4th place out of 37 entries, and only had 4A schools finish ahead of them!
#2 girls doubles teammates senior Abby Martin and sophomore Bella Gatzemeier made a big splash in the tournament despite entering unseeded. The girls also had an undefeated Friday, dispatching of Colville 4-0, 4-0, Cashmere 6-3, 6-3, and Mead in clutch comeback fashion 2-6, 6-3, (11-8). In that 3rd set tiebreaker vs Mead, Martin and Gatzemeier fought off a match point at 8-9, and won three straight points to earn a spot in the semifinals on Saturday morning. In that semifinal, Lewis and Clark was able to barely get by Chelan 6-2, 7-6. In the 3rd/4th match, Abby and Bella also lost a close one to Othello, 6-0, 4-6, 6-7. So, Martin and Gatzemeier also had an impressive 4th place finish out of 40 entries.
Chelan’s #3 girls doubles entry of freshman Ally Williams and sophomore Nadia Van Wechel scored a great comeback win in their opener 4-6, 6-4, (10-8) over Kennewick, but lost their 2nd match of the day 4-6, 2-6 vs Sandpoint.
All in all, I was very happy with our efforts and outcomes during both days. We faced tough competition vs larger schools all weekend, which was our purpose for attending, and therefore experienced a ton of growth, which was our ultimate goal. We hope that the hard fought victories and losses are lessons and momentum for the closely approaching post-season tournaments.
Next up: Lake Roosevelt @ Chelan on Tuesday Apr 30.
Photo above: CHS girls doubles 4th place finishers, left to right, Abby Martin, Bella Gatzemeier, Sierra Rothlisberger, Elle Rothlisberger