[5/29/18] Chelan Tennis: Great showing at district qualifier

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The Chelan Tennis Team traveled to the Yakima Tennis Club on Friday the 25th and Saturday the 26th for the WIAA state tennis tournament.  With a great showing in their district qualifier, they had 4 entries and a total of 6 athletes competing this weekend.

In girls singles, sophomore Emma McLaren had a challenging opener against Penelope Owen of Seattle Academy, the runner up in the 2017 state tournament.  Emma held her own, played inspired tennis, and nearly pulled off a major upset before dropping her debut match 4-6, 6-1, 6-1.  Owen also went on to finish 2nd in 2018, so this was a great showing for Emma against a quality opponent.  However, that loss forced Emma to win her next two on Friday to stay alive in the medal hunt, and she did just that.  Emma defeated a steady Sarah Simmerman of Freeman 6-1, 3-6, 6-2, and then fought off the heat and exhaustion to top Michelle Busey of Naches Valley 6-4, 6-1.  On Saturday, in her final match, Emma fell to Bailee Wallace of Three Rivers Christian 7-6, 6-3, but placed 8th overall.  In addition, she won the WIAA Sportsmanship medal for her bracket, being selected out of the 16 participating girls singles players.

In boys singles, senior Micah Larson shined in his opening match, defeating SCAC #1 seed Malachi Cumpston of Granger 6-1, 6-2.  In the 2nd round, Micah faced Ezra Magaram of Seattle Academy, and Micah definitely raised his level of play.  After losing the first set quickly 6-0, Micah caught fire, played the best tennis of his career, and almost stole the 2nd set before falling 5-7.  Magaram was a true talent, and would go on to take 3rd in the tournament.  Unfortunately, Micah was forced into a loser-out match, and in his final match on Friday,  Micah fell 6-4, 6-1 to Caleb Hardesty of Tonasket.  However, Micah had a spectacular tennis career at CHS, including over 60 wins, multiple state appearances, three consecutive years as 1st Team All-League, and his biggest contribution:  a 5th place state trophy in 2017 in boys doubles that helped the boys team finish 2nd in state as a team.

The girls doubles teams had unprecedented success in the CTL and District tournaments, but struggled in the state tournament.  They peaked the previous weekend, when they faced each other in the district championship match.  Freshmen Elle Rothlisberger and Bella Gatzemeier, like all of our entries, had a challenging opener against Mary Zisette and Allison Papritz of South Widbey.  Elle and Bella hung in well against the eventual 2nd place finishers, but lost 6-1, 6-0.  That loss forced a do-or-die round 2 in which Rothlisberger and Gatzemeier were eliminated by their Granger opponents 6-3, 6-3.  However, they know that Elle and Bella were the youngest entrants in the tournament, and have YEARS of success ahead of them!  The other doubles entry was the district champion tandem of junior Sierra Rothlisberger and senior Madeline Peebles.  Rothlisberger and Peebles also lost their opening two matches, falling 6-4, 6-3 to Coupeville, and 6-1, 6-3 to Tenino.  Sierra looks forward to another state tourney run during her senior season in 2019, while Madeline leaves behind an impressive career, including three consecutive all-league selections with partner Sierra.

All-League, here is Chelan’s 2018 CTL All-League roster, with more selections than any other CTL school:

1st Team:  Micah Larson (boys singles), Emma McLaren (girls singles), Sierra Rothlisberger & Madeline Peebles (girls doubles), Elle Rothlisberger & Bella Gatzemeier (girls doubles)

2nd Team:  Abby Martin & Sydney Hawkins (girls doubles)

Honorable Mention:  Wyatt Habich & Tobin Wier (boys doubles), Alex Gavin (boys singles)

Picture courtesy of Jeff McLaren) with Emma wearing her 8th place medal, and sportsmanship medal, left to right:  Coach Marty Rothlisberger, Emma McLaren, Coach Christie Rothlisberger