The Chewelah Cougars couldn’t get through districts last week as a challenging bracket thinned the ranks of their squad through elimination. When all was said and done, everybody was knocked out before getting a seed to the regional tournament.
“Other teams just picked it up when we needed to and we didn’t have the goods at crucial moments in some particular matches,” Chewelah coach Ed Anegon said. “I also think across the board that some of our youth came through especially among those who will return next season.”
In boys double action, Chewelah No. 1 doubles squad Chandler Kirk-Patterson and Keith Justice defeated their first-round opponent, Deer Park’s Matt McArdle and Trevor Murphy 6-1, 6-1 but fell 6-4, 7-5 to Deer Park’s Izaak Curry and Tyson Lim in the championship semifinals.
“It came down to a few points in each set of each match on Saturday,” Anegon said. “Against Deer Park, we’re up 4-2, 30-love in the second set and played four loose points. Win that game and they probably win the set and the match.”
In the consolation semifinals, they were defeated by Medical Lake’s Tevor Niles and Colton Miller 7-6(3), 6-7(3), 6-3.
“It was a tough way for Chandler to end his career,” Anegon said. “He has worked hard to get to this point and I was sad for him not to be able to advance on to regionals and ultimately Yakima.”
The No. 1 Chewelah girls double team of Kindra Hansen and Carmen Hixson won their first match against Deer Park’s Chelsea Burnett and Hadley Dotts 7-6 (2), 7-5 before falling to Colville’s Kendyl Riggan and Victoria Tochinskaya 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-1 in the championship quarterfinals.
In the consolation bracket, they downed Lakeside’s Kadena Korbel and Joelle Mahowald 7-6 (5), 6-2 before falling to Freeman’s Stacey Johnson and Alyssa Axtell 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.
“You have to give them a lot of credit for the way they played against Lakeside in their third match Friday and against Freeman in their loss Saturday,” Anegon said. “They played some of the best tennis of the year in their last four sets, but again, didn’t get the crucial points they needed to. They will learn from this experience and push forward and do very well next season.”
No. 1 Chewelah girls singles play Elizabeth Grubb defeated Medical Lake’s Jasmine Uribes 6-1, 6-0 in her first round matchup but then fell to Freeman’s Morganne Strahl 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.
“She just didn’t execute well in the quarterfinal match against Morganne Strahl in the two sets she lost,” Anegon said. “She will grow as a result of this experience and will come back next year stronger.”
Katie Kiefer fell in two district matchups for girls singles, but did push her two opponents to their limit in each match, Anegon said. “I have no doubt she will improve as she moves forward into next year and like Elizabeth, will be a force to reckon with.”
Chewelah singles player Johnny Kircher also played two matches and was knocked out, but Anegon said he played the best tennis of this year.
“His second match against Jared Lee of Deer Park was epic,” Anegon said. “Great tennis from both players, it was terrible that one had to lose. He will grow as a result of this tournament.”
That matchup went three sets with Lee winning 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.
The Cougars’ Earl Howard also had two matchups before bowing out for the year.
In boys doubles action, Sylus Snelling and Trevor Arnold pushed their first round opponents Matthew Rux and Isaac Stevens to the brink before getting knocked to the consolation bracket by a score of 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-1. They lost to Lakeside’s Parker Emerson and Nathaniel Koolstra in a consolation bracket battle 6-3, 7-6 (1).
“They were able to play well enough this weekend to push two very good teams to the brink and while they ultimately lost, they played outstanding tennis this weekend,” Anegon said. “They pushed a tough Riverside team to three sets that ultimately came down to experience.”
Cougar seniors Courtney King and Mullein Farneman won their first round matchups against Medical Lake’s Alyssa Pena and Emily Zunker 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 and pushed Colville’s No. 1 doubles team of Cortney Schuh and Izabella Seemann before falling 6-4, 6-0.
“I cannot begin to express how proud I was of their efforts in that match, to push through pain and tiredness to try to get to Saturday,” Anegon said. “Even in a loss, a good way for those two seniors to go out.”
Deer Park’s Burnett and Dotts defeated King and Farneman 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-3 in the consolation bracket.
“Easily this team surprised me the most,” Anegon said of Farneman and King. “After beating a tough No. 1 doubles team from Medical Lake in a three-hour, three-set epic and pushing Colville’s No. 1 team around a bit, they found their demise against a tough Deer Park team, finishing another three-hour, three set match at 8:45 p.m. Friday evening.”
In team scoring, the Chewelah girls finished tied for fifth with Riverside, notching 19 points, while the Chewelah boys were sixth with 20 points.
Making the all-league tennis teams for the Chewelah girls was Kindra Hansen and Carmen Hixson, while on the boys side Chandler Kirk Patterson was awarded all-league honors. The Chewelah boys were 3-7 in the league standings while the girls were 5-7.
By Brandon Hansen/The Independent Staff