Emma McLaren and Wyatt Habich Advance to Districts as #1 Seed
Information from Coach Rothlisberger – Russ Gatzemeier photos
Background info: Saturday all of the Caribou Trail League teams met at Harmony Meadows for Day 2 of the CTL Tournament (Chelan, Cashmere, Cascade, Omak, Okanogan). This tournament is a qualifier for the District 6 Tournament next week, which is the qualifier for the state tournament. The top 4 finishers in each bracket (girls singles, girls doubles, boys singles, boys doubles) will move on to the district tournament. The first day of the tournament was played on Thursday, and wrapped up with the quarterfinals as the dark settled in on the valley.
As in most tournaments, today was a mixed bag of triumph and heartache. Chelan athletes won both of the singles brackets, and we also have a girls doubles team moving on. However, we also lost a couple entries, including some heartbreaking close matches.
Junior Emma McLaren was the #1 seed in the girls singles bracket, and faced Molly Wiser of Cascade in the semifinals on Saturday, finishing strong with a 6-4, 6-2 win. McLaren also dominated the championship match, defeating Dorothy Espinosa of Cascade 6-0, 6-0. Congrats to Emma, the 2019 CTL Girls Singles Champion, moving to the district tournament as the #1 seed!
In girls doubles, sisters Sierra (senior) and Elle (sophomore) Rothlisberger had a spectacular regular season, and were therefore the #2 seed in the doubles bracket. However, Sierra and Elle struggled on Saturday, losing two quick matches to opponents they already recently defeated: they fell in the semifinal 2-6, 3-6 to Cascade, and lost in the loser-out consolation 2-6, 2-6 to Okanogan. Sierra is a senior who had an outstanding tennis career, including all-league each of her four seasons, and was the district champion in girls doubles in 2018. Sierra and Elle took 5th, and will be alternates to the district tournament.
Doubles teammates Abby Martin and Bella Gatzemeier were seeded #4, and faced the #1 seed Kert sisters from Cashmere in the other girls doubles semifinal. Martin and Gatzemeier fell to the eventual champions in that semifinal, but bounced back to win a loser-out consolation match 6-4, 6-1 over Yusi/Allen of Okanogan. That win clinched a district tourney berth. In the 3rd/4th match, Bella and Abby defeated Wyllson/Perez for the second time this week to take 3rd place.
In boys singles, senior Wyatt Habich was the #1 seed in his bracket, and faced #4 seed Hans Schlyer of Cascade in the semifinals, dispatching of him quickly 6-1, 6-0. In the meantime, on a nearby court, junior Tobin Wier (the #3 seed in boys singles), was “upsetting” #2 seed Kane Andruss of Cashmere in his semifinal match 6-3, 6-2. Those two wins created an ALL CHELAN championship match, and it was a roller-coaster. Wyatt eventually came out on top, 6-2, 5-7, 6-1. Congrats to Wyatt, the 2019 CTL Boys Singles Champion, moving to the district tournament as the #1 seed! Tobin also moves on as the #2 seed.
In boys doubles, juniors Steven Williams and Eli Phelps entered as the #5 seed on Thursday, won their opening match, but lost their quarterfinal. That loss slotted Williams and Phelps into a do-or-die loser out Saturday match against Hurlbert/Stenberg of Omak, which Steve and Eli survived 6-3, 7-5. That forced a second do-or-die match vs #3 seed Ibarra/Andruss of Cashmere. Williams and Phelps fell just short of a valiant comeback win 3-6, 6-2, 5-7. Steve and Eli did successfully win the alternate match over another Cashmere team 8-6, and will be the alternates to the district tournament.
The District tournament kicks off next Wednesday at Harmony Meadows at 3pm, and then continues on Saturday at North Cascades Athletic Club in Omak. The top 3 finishers in the girls’ brackets and the top 4 finishers in the boys’ brackets move on to the state tournament.