Tiger tennis sending four to State

Senior Brett Hendrick serves the ball to his Liberty Bell opponents during the final round of the District 6 tennis tournament in East Wenatchee at Eastmont High School on Saturday, May 21 while his doubles partner, senior Lee Leavell, remains ready close

Senior Brett Hendrick serves the ball to his Liberty Bell opponents during the final round of the District 6 tennis tournament in East Wenatchee at Eastmont High School on Saturday, May 21 while his doubles partner, senior Lee Leavell, remains ready close

EAST WENATCHEE – In an unusual district tennis tournament that was held outside of the district, rescheduled due to rain and stalled due to rain on the second day, one of the most unusual aspects occurred when the third place boys’ singles player was determined through a game of rock, paper, scissors.

The District 6 1A and B tennis tournament, originally scheduled to begin on Saturday, May 14, was rescheduled to Tuesday, May 17 due to rain. On that first day, the Tonasket High School tennis team began with three boys’ singles players, two boys’ doubles teams, three girls’ singles players and two girls’ doubles teams.

Losing in their first round games were sophomore girls’ singles player Claire Thornton 0-6, 1-6, senior boys’ singles player Aaron Bharucha 0-6, 0-6, junior boys’ singles player Russell Perry 0-6, 3-6 and freshman boys’ doubles team Brian Hendrick and Trevor Terris 0-6, 4-6.

Winning their first match but losing their second match were senior girls’ singles player Stephanie Chua 6-0, 6-0 and 0-6, 0-6 and sophomore girls’ doubles team Michaela Newton and Grace Maldonado who won 6-3, 6-3 before losing their second match.

“Chua had one of her best matches,” Dave Buchheim, head coach, said. “Newton and Maldonado played pretty well in their first match and had a touch second match. Bharucha stepped up and filled the third singles spot with a good effort.”

Finishing the second day on Saturday, May 21 were junior girls’ doubles team Michelle Timmerman and Cayla Monroe who won their first set of the day 6-1, 6-1 before losing their second set 4-6, 4-6.

“Timmerman and Monroe had a good season but being juniors, they can see what they have to do to move up a level,” Buchheim said. “With a little practice this summer, they’ll be a team to watch for next year.”

Winning the girls’ singles title was sophomore Megan Beyers who won 7-5, 6-2 on May 17 before finishing up the first days’ second scheduled match 6-2, 6-1 on Thursday, May 19 in Chelan. Beyers’ first match on May 21 lasted over five hours before being stalled due to rain with her tied at three points in her third set. She went on to win the set after the rain delay and won the match 4-6, 7-6 (7-3) 6-4. Beyers won the district title by winning her final match 6-3, 6-1.

“Beyers didn’t have her best game but she was mentally tough,” Buchheim said.

Winning the boys’ doubles title were seniors Brett Hendrick and Lee Leavell. The boys’ won both of their first day matches 6-0, 6-0. On May 21, they won 6-3, 6-2 before winning the title with a score of 6-3, 6-1 in their final match.

“I think we played really well,” Leavell said.

“We played consistently, we fought for every point and we served well,” Hendrick added.

Leavell said their goal for state is to play at their peak and to finish the best they can possibly finish. Both boys stated they were thankful to their families for supporting them throughout their tennis careers and expressed pride in how far they’d already come as a team.

Finally, junior boys’ singles player Anthony Verhasselt won his first two matches on May 17 but lost his third set. Then, on May 21, he won two matches before coming into his final match, which would send him to state in either third or fourth place. Exhausted and feeling pain in his knees, Verhasselt didn’t want to play, nor did his opponent, Jordan Hertlein, who had sprained his ankle earlier in the day. Since neither boy wanted to play the match and both were already headed to state, they were allowed to settle their places through a game of rock, paper, scissors. Throwing down rock three times in a row, Verhasselt won third place at districts and his placing added another point to the Tonasket boys’ team, giving them the district title.

“Verhasselt overcame jitters from losing at districts last year and held it together to take third; it was a big relief for him,” Buchheim said. “Overall, the tournament went well, minus the rain delays. Being my first time here, I was exceptionally lucky having a good team and good competitors. The kids were willing to make changes on short notice so I was very pleased with them and very fortunate to have them.”

Buchheim added that he thinks Hendrick and Leavell can go a long way at state if they play within themselves and that this will be a good experience for Beyers and Verhasselt but that both will have to step up their games a little to keep competing.

The Tigers next play at the state tennis tournament in Yakima on Friday, May 27 and Saturday, May 28.

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