After decades coaching girls tennis, Central Valley coach Stan Chalich knew what to expect when two of his players met in the District 8 4A girls singles semifinals.
Freshman Kyra Harmes was the Bears’ No. 1 singles player all season, but sophomore Abby Pedersen was the surprise semifinalist, moving up as CV’s second singles entry because of an injury.
“I took the two of them aside and I told them that I was done coaching them,” Chalich said. “They knew what they had to do. I told them they were great friends before the match and I wanted them to be great friends after the match. But I wanted them to leave it all on the court.”
Pedersen upset her teammate to reach the finals, winning 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Wednesday.
Chalich was not surprised.
“Abby has been playing really well lately,” he said. “She’s just like playing against a backboard.
“Kyra has been having a little shoulder trouble, but that’s no excuse for the match.”
Harmes did forfeit the third-place match because of the shoulder, while Pedersen’s win streak was stopped by Micca Motzer of Mead in the finals, 6-4, 6-0.
“The great thing about this match is the fact that I get both of these girls back next year and the year after that,” Chalich said.
A surprise, sort of
To no one’s surprise, Gonzaga Prep’s Alex Marcinkiwski won the 4A district boys singles crown – but it was a surprise final nonetheless.
Lewis and Clark’s Tyler Wilson, who was unseeded going into the tournament, knocked off second-seeded Trevor Fennessy of Ferris in a three-set semifinal, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
“I was really surprised,” Marcinkowski said. “I was hoping that Trevor could make it into the regionals one last time.”
The Tigers also send two doubles teams into the 4A regional tournament at Richland. The Tigers’ No. 1 doubles team of Luke Brittan and Jordan Strandness defeated teammates Jacob Larson and Kenny Woodhead, 6-1, 6-1, in Thursday’s district championship match.
Larson and Woodhead clinched the second and final regional berth when the Gonzaga Prep duo of Mark Romano and Josh Lewis won the third-place match. Larson and Woodhead beat Romano and Lewis in three sets in Wednesday’s semifinal match, 2-6, 6-4, 7-5.
Good day for Wildcats
Mt. Spokane takes both the top singles and doubles seeds into the 3A regional boys tournament next week at Kennewick High School.
Austin Carlen knocked off Taylor Redman in the singles final, and Redman bounced back Friday to claim the district’s second and final regional berth by beating University’s Chris in three sets, 6-7 (8), 6-2, 6-1.
The Wildcats’ James Story and Matt Graham knocked off University’s Andy Jackson and Bradley Earl in the final, with the U-Hi duo earning the district’s second berth.
University teammates Mercedee Smith and Laurent Stubbers both advanced to the regional tournament after an all-Titans singles final, which Smith won, 6-2, 6-0.
Shadle Park’s Nesha Howard and Madeline Ritter won the doubles title with a 7-5, 7-5 win over Mt. Spokane’s Julia Brim and Leah Wurst. Both doubles teams advance to the regionals.