MANSON — The Manson High School tennis team continues to add on the accolades. The boys and girls won the Central Washington B league championship and the boys pivoted into a district championship shortly after, beating 1B, 2B and 1A athletes. Omak came in second with half of Manson’s total team points. Eight Manson athletes qualified for the state tournament.
“I’m very thrilled to have so many players heading to state this year,” said Manson head coach Joey Johanson said. “This was a culmination of a group of seniors that started the tennis program four years ago. This is actually only our second year of postseason play. The credit goes to all these players who keep putting in the time to get better.”
Ben Cullison didn’t lose a set during the district tournament, beating difficult opponents like Cashmere’s JJ Groner and Chelan’s Rylen Moody. The district boys’ singles match was a special moment for Manson. It pitted Cullison against his teammate Rex Torgesen. Cullison won the match in straight sets, 6-4 and 6-0.
“Ben’s game has really elevated this year. He has a great first and second serve that is making a huge difference,” Johanson said.
Before the finals match, Torgesen beat his Chelan and Okanogan opponents in straight sets. He also qualified for state.
Manson’s Cavan Willard and Ben Rasmusson also qualified as a boys' doubles team for state. They eventually took fourth at districts after beating their Chelan opponent in the opening round, falling to boys district doubles champions from Omak and beating their own teammates after a double tiebreaker. They earned fourth after falling to Quincy in three sets.
Manson also has two girls’ doubles teams that qualified for state. The girls’ district tournament had a mix of only 1B and 2B athletes. The Trojan’s No. 1 doubles team, Afton Torgesen and Kayden Koth won the district title after three challenging sets against a formidable Pateros team. They reach the finals without losing a set to two separate Tonasket teams.
Natalee Reyna and Genesis Torres also qualified for state. Their path wasn’t certain. They lost the quarterfinal match against the same Pateros team that lost the championship. To take third they beat Okanogan and two Tonasket teams in straight sets.
“Both our girls' doubles teams are playing so well right now because they get to hit with each other in practice,” Johanson said. “This elevates both their games and will make them competitive at the state level.”
The 1B/2B/1A state tennis tournament takes place at the Yakima Tennis Club Friday and Saturday.
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