Turns out there was a spot for Lewis and Clark freshman Kyle Fager on the Tigers’ postseason tennis roster after all.
The No. 3 singles player for LC was pressed into action at the Inland Empire tournament earlier this month when the team’s top singles player, Luke Brittan, opted out to take an SAT class.
Fager responded by winning the No. 2 singles division, but pointed out after collecting his medal that he was now looking forward to summer tennis since he was blocked out of the postseason at LC.
But now he heads into today’s 4A regional tennis tournament as the No. 1 seed from the Greater Spokane League after capturing the district title last week, knocking off Mead’s Josiah Hopkins in the final.
Hopkins defeated Jacob Johnson of LC to claim the No. 2 seed into the regional, which takes place this afternoon at Gonzaga Prep.
Paul Chapius of Chiawana is the top seed from the Mid Columbia Conference.
Brittan and Jordan Strandness, who was a No. 1 singles finalist at the IE tournament, won the district doubles title and have to be considered a favorite to win a state title. A year ago as sophomores, Brittan and Strandness won both of their matches on the opening day of the state tournament, earning themselves a spot in the semifinals. They lost their next two matches and finished off the medals stand – losing in the third-place match to a Richland team they’d beaten earlier.
LC teammates Jacob Larson and Kenny Woodhead are the No. 2 seeds.
The No. 1 girls singles seed also is a freshman: Ferris phenom Courtney Provan. Seeding would have her battling freshman Eden Snider of Pasco in the girls singles final.
Ferris’ Jill Louthian and Kelsey Lenhart are the No. 1-seeded girls doubles team. Their teammates, Kjersti Strandness and Rachel Koentopp reached the district final, but were knocked off by Micca Motzer and Jessica Starr of Mead in the consolation match to claim the No. 2 seed.
In 3A, University claimed the top two seeds in boys singles and doubles at last week’s district tournament – claiming the school’s first district boys tennis title. The Titans will have an advantage today with the regional tournament being held on their home courts.
Kyle Smithgall knocked off teammate Tyler Bates in the district singles final. Bates faces Ethan Ling of Southridge in an opening-round match, with the winner taking on the Mid Columbia No. 1 seed Darko Stankovic of Hanford in the semis. Smithgall awaits the winner of the match between Joe Turner of Mt. Spokane and Cyrus Stephens of Hanford.
Josh Ramsey and Seth Olson knocked off U-Hi teammates Andy Jackson and Brad Earl in the district doubles finals.
Jackson and Earl face Sean and Will Thompson of Hanford in a first-round match, with the winner advancing to face Inland Empire No. 1 doubles champions Chad McKenzie and Jared Bolt of Kennewick in the semifinals.
No. 3 Kramer Erb and Sam Luse of Mt. Spokane take on Ben Welch and Matt Inman of Kamiakin in the other first-round match, with the winner advancing to face Ramsey and Olson.
In 3A girls play, Audra Spargo of Shadle Park is the top-seeded GSL singles player and could face teammate Daniela Giacomelli in the semifinals. Giacomelli faces Zoe Garcia of Kennewick in a first-round match.
Kayla Uplinger of Mt. Spokane, who lost to Spargo in the district final, faces An Wang of Hanford in an opening-round match, with the winner advancing to face Stephanie Buckingham of Kennewick in the semifinals.
It was an All-U-Hi doubles final at district. Top-seeded RiLee Skidmore and Katelyn Schmidt await the winner of a first-round match between Elly Waite and Tam Nguyen of Rogers and Rebecca Young and Courtney Hall of Kamiakin.
Sonya Bertrand and Julia Adair, who lost to Skidmore and Schmidt in the district final, take on Daicee Singer and Natalie Sedes of Kennewick in a first-round match, with the winner advancing to face the Mid-Columbia top seeds Bailee Sanderson and Sofia Morison of Southridge in the semis.
• U-Hi boys coach Aaron Alteneder was voted Greater Spokane League Coach of the Year by his peers. In his first season leading the Titans, the long-time area coach saw his team win 10 of 11 league matches. The Titans scored 56 team points in the district tournament, more than twice their nearest challenger.