By Mike Maltais
The Liberty Bell High School varsity boys’ tennis team captured the 1B/2B/1A district championship trophy in regional competition at Cashmere last week, and advanced singles player Carlos Perez and the doubles team of Daniel Sonnichsen and Fletcher Rickabaugh to state competition at the Yakima Tennis Club on Friday and Saturday (May 30-31). The second doubles team of Cory Diamond and Josh Frey will be alternates.
Senior singles player Carlos Perez placed second at Cashmere after an injury forced him to forfeit the second set of his championship match.
The first doubles team of seniors Sonnichsen and Rickabaugh finished fourth. Sophomore doubles players Diamond and Frey took fifth.
The top four spots advanced to state competition.
Perez defeated Juan Mendoza of Cascade, 6-0, 6-1, and Eli Jenkins of Chelan, 6-0, 7-6, with a 7-4 tiebreaker, to meet Chad Ravens of Cashmere in the finals.
An injury sustained early in his second set against Ravens forced Perez to forfeit the second set following his first-set 7-6 win on a 7-4 tiebreaker.
Sonnichsen and Rickabaugh beat a strong Omak team, 6-4, 6-4, in their first round of competition.
“What was spectacular about that game was that they got the point when they needed it to win,” Schulz said of his doubles players. “Omak was a very good, hard-hitting team and the score could easily have been tied, 5-5, had they not gotten the point when it counted most.”
Sonnichsen and Rickabaugh then lost to eventual doubles champs Tonasket, 4-6, 3-6, and then had to face Omak’s No. 1 seeded team. A 5-7, 2-6 loss to the Pioneers put the pair on the road to face their doubles teammates.
The second doubles team of Frey and Diamond lost to Quincy, 6-7, 2-6. Quincy would go on to place second behind Tonasket.
Next up for Frey and Diamond was Chelan, who the Mountain Lions defeated, 6-4, 6-3.
“Our only defeat of the season was to Chelan,” Schulz said. “So our kids peaked at just the proper time.”
In a repeat of the previous week’s district competition, Diamond and Frey then found themselves matched against teammates Sonnichsen and Rickabaugh for fourth place. After the seniors won in three sets, Diamond and Frey had to defeat Omak, 7-5, 6-1, for fifth.