The District 8 4A boys tennis tournament will be full of surprises, if you know where to look.
“This year it’s all going to be about the doubles,” Gonzaga Prep coach Christian Birrer said. “There are five, maybe six, teams that can all win it with a good day. There will be some very exciting matches to determine who the No. 2 singles berth will go to, but there’s not much mystery about who the top singles spot will go to.”
Unless his racquet arm falls off, that spot should go easily to Alex Marcinckowski of G-Prep, who cruised through the Greater Spokane League season undefeated.
“He’s been head and shoulders above everyone else in the league and has been for the past several years,” Birrer said. “He’s been a terrific asset to the program. He works with the team … and then practices with his own personal coach. He didn’t miss a single match for us all season and he played tournament tennis on the weekend, all while taking the toughest AP classes during the day.
“He hits with our best players and he can turn around and work with our young guys. It’s like having an assistant coach every day.”
Ferris’ No. 1 singles player, Trevor Fennessy, is the favorite to earn the district’s second regional berth as the No. 2 overall singles seed, Birrer said. But Gonzaga Prep’s Josh Hopkins and Dan Sheppard, the Nos. 3 and 4 seeds, are both capable of an upset.
Lewis and Clark’s Luke Brittan and Jordan Strandness are the top seeds in boys doubles, with Gonzaga Prep’s Mark Romano and Josh Lewis seeded No. 2. LC’s Jacob Larson and Kenny Woodhead are seeded third.
Mead’s Ryan Wagstaff and Nandan Utgikar, after winning a challenge match, are the No. 1 seed from the Panthers and No. 4 in the tournament.
“There should be some very exciting tennis here,” Birrer said. “Larson and Woodhead have a particularly tough first-round match with a team from Mead – Blake Luynd and Chase Farrell.”
The tournament’s first two rounds are Monday and Tuesday at Central Valley. The tournament finishes at Gonzaga Prep on Wednesday and Thursday.
Mead’s Micca Motzer is the top-seeded singles player in the 4A district tournament, with two of her teammates holding down the third and fourth seeds. Central Valley’s Kyra Harames earned the No. 2 seed, but Panthers teammates Hanna Ferris and Mackenzie Draper are each seeded to reach the semifinals.
Mead’s Dana Norris and Heather Birge hold down the top seed in the doubles tournament, with Ferris’ Kayley Lenhard and Jill Outhian No. 2, CV’s Madison Lewis and Kasey Ames No. 3 and Erin Harbaugh and Marie Pariseau of LC No. 4.
Pullman wins titles
Pullman capped a pair of undefeated seasons in winning Great Northern League boys and girls crowns.
The Greyhounds were undefeated in six league matches to win the GNL girls regular-season title. The boys were 5-0 in winning the championship. (Colville did not field a boys team this season.)
The District 7 2A tournament is next Friday and Saturday at Washington State University.