QUINCY — On Thursday and Saturday, the Caribou Trail League tennis championship was held at Quincy High School. A league title wasn’t the only thing on the line for the boys, a high enough finish would qualify them for the district 1A/2B/1B tournament. This would act as the de facto district tournament for the girls before a loser-out crossover match with the Northeast 1A League.
The competition wasn’t the only difficult element as every athlete had to battle the scolding sun and gusty winds — cramping and injuries were not an uncommon occurrence.
“I was impressed by the grit, determination, and fitness of our team,” said Chelan head coach Marty Rothlisberger. “We didn’t succumb to those elements. We were truly Goat tough, both physically and mentally.”
The Chelan girls collected enough wins to earn their second district championship in a row.
The No. 1 girls’ singles culminated with Cashmere’s Faith Kert and Chelan’s Arden Paglia making the championship match. Paglia and Kert had met on multiple occasions through the regular season and even though Paglia saved her best match for the championship against the defending doubles state champion, Kert came away with the win in straight sets. She went undefeated to claim her district championship and will play the NEA’s No. 3 seed in Spokane on Saturday.
To determine the No. 2 seed Paglia had to face the winner of the consolation bracket — Cascade’s Zienna Erickson — who had to trudge through the bracket for a chance at a crossover match. Paglia won the match 6-2 in both sets to secure the second seed and will play an NEA opponent in Spokane on Saturday.
Cashmere’s Ashlyn Reichert finished in fourth place.
The Chelan girls found more success in the doubles bracket.
After two of Chelan's doubles teams beat their Omak and Cashmere opponents in the consolation bracket semifinals, they had to face one another and beat their teammates to extend their postseason.
Ellie McLemore and Josie Garfoot squared off with Piper Grossberg and Maya Cowan in the consolation finals — and as only well-acquainted teammates could — a difficult three-set battle ensued. Grossberg and Cowan eventually came out on top to claim third place. Fourth went to McLemore and Garfoot.
Chelan's Liv Strandberg and Caelan Rothlisberger made the championship match against Omak. Omak edged Chelan after two tight tiebreaking sets to take first while the loss meant Chelan had to win one more match to earn second. Once again it was Goat versus Goat.
Strandberg and Rothlisberger had to face Grossberg and Cowan who eventually won the match after a three-set marathon, earning second and a loser-out crossover match with an NEA opponent in Spokane on Saturday. Strandberg and Rothlisberger are alternates.
For the boys’ singles matches, Chelan’s Rylen Moody, the co-CTL player of the year, made the championship match against Cascade’s Charlie Lyons after beating Omak in the semifinals.
Lyons won the boys’ singles championship after grinding through a difficult tiebreaker and winning the second set, 6-2. The loss gave Moody a second-place finish.
Chelan’s Cray Silva earned third after battling through the consolation bracket and Cashmere’s JJ Groner placed fourth qualifying them for the district tournament. Cashmere’s Zeke Lewis finished in fifth to earn an alternate slot.
For the boys’ doubles matches, Omak won the championship while the rest fought in the consolation bracket.
Chelan’s Tristan and Wade Sanderson narrowly beat Cascade after a close and difficult three-set match to eventually square off with a familiar foe — teammates Luke Christopherson and Sam Bordner. It was a loser-out shot at districts. Bordner and Christopherson won after an initial tiebreaker and a close 6-4 battle in the second set.
They earned the No. 3 district seed after their opponent injury-defaulted. The Sandersons became district alternates after winning their next match against Cashmere.
“It's exciting to have at least one Chelan entry still alive in each of the four postseason brackets,” Rothlisberger said. “We’re the only CTL school to do so.”
The boys’ district tournament was held at Lake Chelan Shores on Tuesday and will continue on Thursday at 2 p.m. The girls' CTL/NEA crossover matches will be held at Mead High School (Spokane) on Saturday at noon.
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