[4/30/18] Chelan traveled to Spokane for one of the largest tournaments in the nation

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On April 27th and 28th, Chelan traveled to Spokane for their annual participation in the massive Inland Empire Tennis Tournament.  This tournament is one of the largest high school tournaments in the nation, featuring 780 athletes from 52 high schools in Washington and Idaho.  The tournament utilizes 11 sites and over 80 courts.  They attend this tournament in order to test ourselves against the highest level of competition, in preparation for similarly grueling match days in the upcoming post-season.  Half of their team played three or more matches in difficult heat on Friday, some athletes laboring on the court for more than 5 hours.   It was excellent preparation for the same strenuous conditions they will face in the CTL, District 6 and state tournaments next month.   They didn’t face many schools of our size, but despite the stiff competition from higher classifications, 1A Chelan performed VERY well.


Chelan’s #1 girls singles entry Emma McLaren (sophomore) opened against a tough opponent from 4A West Valley (Spokane), and gave her opposition everything she could handle before falling 4-6, 4-6.  However, Emma bounced back to win her next four matches in a row, claiming the consolation championship and placing 5th overall out of 38 entries.  On Friday, Emma won match #2 vs Post Falls (Idaho) 6-4, 6-4 and won match #3 vs 3A Shadle Park (Spokane) 6-4, 6-2.  On Saturday, her matches were shortened due to rain, but she won the consolation semifinal 4-0, 4-3 vs Colville and finished the tournament with a comeback win 1-4, 4-1, (10-8) over 4A Central Valley (Spokane).


The #2 girls singles entry was junior Katelyn Deal, and she also opened with a difficult 1st round opponent, losing 6-3, 6-1 to a 4A Hanford competitor who would eventually play for the bracket championship.  However, Katelyn followed up with a convincing 6-1, 6-1 win over 3A Rogers (Spokane) before being eliminated by 4A Ferris (Spokane) in her 3rd match on Friday.


Chelan’s #1 girls doubles duo of junior Sierra Rothlisberger and senior Madeline Peebles had a stellar Friday, winning 7-6, 6-2 over Deer Park, 6-2, 6-1 over Lakeside and 6-4, 6-2 over 2A Pullman.  Unfortunately, Chelan was in a tough quarter of the bracket, and their 4th match on Friday was against the tourney #1 seed from 4A Wenatchee.  Sierra and Madeline played their best tennis of the year, but came up short against the tournament favorite 6-1, 6-3.


Chelan’s #2 girls doubles tandem of senior Sydney Hawkins and junior Abby Martin opened the day with a route of Lind-Ritzville-Sprague 6-0, 6-0.  Match #2 was a heart-breaker, with Syd and Abby losing two close sets to 2A West Valley (Spokane) 5-7, 4-6


The future of Chelan girls tennis officially became the present this weekend, as the highest Chelan finish in the tournament went to the #3 girls doubles freshmen team Elle Rothlisberger and Bella Gatzemeier.   On Friday, Elle and Bella won three straight matches, defeating 4A Hanford 6-2, 6-2, surviving 4A Central Valley (Spokane) 7-6, 6-4, and handling Riverside 6-1, 6-2.  That placed Rothlisberger and Gatzemeier in the tournament semifinals on Saturday morning vs Othello, where they staged a 2nd set comeback to win 6-1, 7-5.  The tournament championship match was a back and forth affair, with a junior and senior tandem from 3A Southridge eventually narrowly topping the Chelan frosh team 4-6, 6-3, (10-6).  Big congratulations to Elle and Bella, who finished 2nd out of 37 entries


#1 boys singles senior standout Micah Larson had a stellar opening match on Friday, defeating a talented LaSalle (Yakima) opponent 6-2, 6-0.  However, in the 2nd round, Larson fell to rival Caleb Hardestry of Tonasket to end his tourney hopes.


CHS’s #2 boys singles entry Scott Abel, a 1st year senior tennis athlete, had his first ever singles tournament experience this weekend, and drew the big boys as opponents.   Scott’s growth this year has been tremendous, despite falling short in his opener to 4A University (Spokane) and his consolation match vs 2A West Valley (Spokane).


In #1 boys doubles, junior Wyatt Habich and sophomore Tobin Wier shined in their opening match, defeating Lakeside 6-4, 6-1.  Our #1 boys team also faced an unfortunate draw, falling to tourney #2 seed 4A Wenatchee in round 2. They put up a good fight, losing 6-1, 6-3.


The #2 boys doubles entry of senior Alex Gavin and junior Tyler Higgins made the biggest tourney splash for the boys team this year.  Despite losing their opener to Cashmere’s #1 doubles team, Alex and Tyler rebounded to defeat 2A Cheney 7-5, 0-6, (10-6) and finished Friday with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Post Falls.  In Saturday’s consolation semifinal, Alex and Tyler struggled vs Moscow (Idaho), losing 2-6, 1-6.  Gavin and Higgins finished the tournament with an injury default win over Pullman to take 7th out of 42 doubles teams.


Chelan’s young #3 boys doubles pairing of sophomores Steven Williams and Eli Phelps gained valuable tournament experience on Friday, but lost their opener to 2A Pullman, and fell short in a close match-up with 2A Ellensburg 6-4, 6-3.