By John L. Braese
ONTARIO – The Vale bus will be full as 13 tennis players qualified for the 4A/3A/2A/1A Special District 4 tournament to be held in Walla Walla after sub-district play wrapped up Monday on the courts of Treasure Valley Community College.
“This is the most kids we have ever sent to the district finals,” said Vale coach Ryan Seals. “Over half the team qualified.”
The Ontario Tiger bus will have four on board.
In girls singles, Ontario will send both Audrey Vogt and Alexis Schwartz.
Vogt fell in the battle for the championship to Baker’s Gracie Huggins in a 6-2, 7-5 match.
Schwartz grabbed third place after downing Vale’s Sable Kelso 6-3, 6-1. Kelso, with a fourth place finish, will represent the Vikings in Walla Walla.
The girls doubles finals were all black and white.
In the championship match, Drew Dobney and Tessa McFetridge downed teammates Allee Ewing and Alisa Burkhardt 6-2, 6-2. Both Vale teams will make the trip.
The battle for third place was all Malheur County as Ontario’s Alicia Maldonado and Haliegh took a 6-0, 6-1 victory of Vale’s Heather Dearing and Alex McBride.
In boys singles action, Vale’s Mike Young fought his way to the finals before falling to Baker’s Zach Schwin 6-3, 6-1. The two will possibly meet again in the district finals in Walla Walla.
Also representing Vale will be Marco Ramirez, a third place finisher after downing Baker’s John Cunningham. In one of the lengthier matches of the day, Ramirez took the first set 6-4, only to have Cunningham come back in the second set with a 6-3 win. In the third and deciding set, Ramirez was able to sweep the set, 6-0.
The boys doubles also found success for the Vikings.
Noah Carlson and Sam McLaughlin worked their way through the bracket before falling to the La Grande team of Ebel and Wisdon in the finals. After falling in the first set, 6-3, the second set was all Vale, 6-1. The third set battled down to a tie breaker before the Vikings team fell, 7-3.
Third place also belonged to Vale. Brody Marvin and Dan Wenger overwhelmed the La Grande team of Maille and Mussatto 6-2, 7-5.
The busses from Vale and Ontario will depart for the district tournament to be held in Walla Walla May 12 and 13.
The top four finishers in Walla Walla will advance to the state tournament on May 19 and 20 on the campus of Oregon State University in Corvallis.
Have a news tip? Email news@malheurenterprise or call John L. Braese at (541) 473-3377.
Advancing to district finals
Drew Dobney/Tessa McFetridge-Vale
Allee Ewing/Alisa Burkhardt-Vale
Heather Dearing/Alex McBride-Vale
Alicia Maldonado/Haliegh Taylor-Ontario
Noah Carlson/Sam McLaughlin-Vale
Brody Marvin/Dan Wenger-Vale