Chelan gains valuable match experience in annual battle in Spokane

information and photo released by Coach Rothlisberger; pictured above Chelan medalists (l to r): Josie Garfoot, Ellie McLemore, Marty Rothlisberger (coach), Caelan Rothlisberger, Olivia Strandberg 

On Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29 the Chelan Goats traveled to Spokane for their annual battle in the Inland Empire tennis tournament.  This tournament is the largest high school tennis tournament in the nation, with 50+ schools, 600+ players, and 11 sites with 80+ courts utilized.  Our Chelan kids came away with a lot of wins, valuable match experience against tough competition from large schools, some hardware and too many sunburns.

This tournament is a “guaranteed two matches” format as opposed to a true double elimination tournament (which would take 3-4 days).  Essentially, to stay alive in the tournament, day 1 contestants on Friday needed to finish win-win-win or lose-win-win.  Any loss in match #2 or match #3 means elimination.  So, about 80% of the entrants are eliminated on day 1.  Chelan was able to push 4 out of our 10 entrants into day 2, and a couple other entrants only came up one match short.

On the girls’ side:

  • #1 singles entry Arden Paglia played well in round 1 but lost 3-6, 3-6 to a tough LaSalle (Yakima) opponent.  That forced Arden to battle back and win twice on Friday in the consolation bracket, which she did with wins over Southridge (Kennewick) 6-2, 7-5 and Wenatchee 7-6, 6-2.  That put Arden in the medal round on the consolation side of the bracket on Saturday.  In the consolation semifinal, she ended up losing a close match to eventual 5th place finisher from East Valley (Yakima), but finished the tournament with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Prosser to take 7th overall out of 43 players.
  • #2 singles entry Candice Ducrocq got the short end of the stick in round 1 by having to face the #2 seed from Chewelah.  However, she played outstanding against that eventual silver medalist, which gave Candice momentum into another well-played match vs East Valley (Spokane).  She fell just short in a 3rd set tiebreaker 8-10, but played some of the best tennis of her life on Friday.
  • #1 doubles team Piper Grossberg and Maya Cowan narrowly missed the medal round, but played excellent tennis. The duo won their opener 7-6, 6-3 over Post Falls, and bested another Idaho team (Sandpoint) 6-3, 6-3 in round 2, but had their tournament cut shot in their final match on Friday with a narrow 4-6, 3-6 loss to Gonzaga Prep (G Prep would later go on to take 3rd overall in the bracket).  Despite being a newly formed team without much experience together, they demonstrated that they were definitely one of the top doubles teams in the tournament.
  • #2 doubles team Olivia Strandberg and Caelan Rothlisberger ran the table on Saturday with wins over Cheney (6-1, 6-0), Ridgeline of Spokane Valley (6-0, 6-2) and Gonzaga Prep (6-4, 6-1).  That streak put them into the Saturday morning semifinals vs #1 seed University High (Spokane), where they came up short 2-6, 1-6.  However, in the follow-up match for 3rd/4th, Liv and Caelan took down Ephrata 6-2, 6-3 to claim 3rd place out of 40 doubles teams!
  • #3 doubles Josie Garfoot and Ellie McLemore also were a perfect 3-0 on Friday, with wins over Toppenish (6-2, 6-1), Othello (6-2, 6-0), and Gonzaga Prep (6-4, 6-4) which put them in the semifinals vs #2 seed University HS on Saturday.   Ellie and Josie battled that tough competition and difficult heat on Saturday to fend off UHigh 6-1, 5-7, 6-4, placing them in the championship match vs #1 seed Mead.  Garfoot and McLemore came up short against Mead, but finished in 2nd place out of 40 doubles teams!

It was an odd coincidence that all three Chelan girls doubles teams faced Gonzaga Prep in their quarterfinal matches this year.  We felt it was a fairly large accomplishment to win 2 of those 3 quarterfinal matches against such a heralded 4A private school!

On the boys’ side:

  • #1 singles entry Rylen Moody had a tough draw, losing to the overall tournament #1 seed and the eventual gold medalist from Southridge (Kennewick) in round 1, and also came up short against Shadle Park’s tough #1 singles player in Moody’s do-or-die match 1-6, 5-7.
  • #2 singles entry Cray Silva lost a heartbreaker in his opener to Mead, falling in the 3rd set tiebreaker 10-12.  Cray fought back to win two more matches on Friday over Cheney 6-2, 6-2 and Ellensburg 6-0, 6-3 to enter Saturday’s medal round.  In his first match on Saturday, Cray was beaten 6-4, 6-1 by Ferris, and unfortunately his 7th/8th match ended up being a Chelan win by forfeit.  Cray finished 7th overall out of 37 players.
  • #1 doubles entry Luke Christopherson and Sam Bordner had a rough day, dropping their opener to Coeur d’Alene 1-6, 3-6, and were eliminated in match #2 by Rogers 2-6, 6-7.
  • #2 doubles brothers Tristan and Wade Sanderson narrowly missed the medal round after a great showing on Friday. They won their opener 6-3, 6-3 over Prosser, and also their 2nd round matchup 6-1, 6-4 over Ephrata. This young Chelan team fell just short in round 3 to Othello 4-6, 4-6.  Othello would go on to medal by taking 3rd place in the bracket, so that’s an outstanding showing by the Sandersons!
  • #3 doubles entry Ian Garfoot and Caleb Sanderson also narrowly missed the medal round.  The tandem fell 6-7, 3-6 to Mt Spokane in the opening match but came back strong defeating Othello 6-3, 6-1.  Ian and Caleb needed just one more win to medal, but lost the closest match of the day 6-2, 4-6, 6-7, with that 3rd set tiebreaker being 13-15!