Two singles players from the girls’ team and a boys’ doubles team will represent Liberty Bell High School in tennis this week at the district tournament in Omak — hoping to advance to the state tournament in Yakima.
For the girls, Logan Butler and Ruthann Matteson will keep their season going at Omak on Wednesday and Saturday. The doubles team of William Grubb and Tim Haley also moved on.
Matteson took first place in play last week at Omak, beating players from Entiat (6-1, 61), Lake Roosevelt (6-4, 6-0) and Tonasket (6-4, 6-1) for the top podium spot.
“Ruthann moved the ball around, keeping the opponents on the run and out of position,” Liberty Bell coach Dave Schulz said. “I’m very proud of her.”
Butler lost her first match to a Lake Roosevelt opponent, 4-6, 4-6, before recovering with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Entiat. After another win, Butler played for third place against a Lake Roosevelt opponent and won, 6-1, 6-2. “Logan started out somewhat sluggish before getting her pace back,” Schulz said.
Shelby Vintin won her first singles match against Oroville, 6-0, 6-1, but then lost to a Lake Roosevelt opponent, 4-6, 6-7 (1-7 tiebreaker).
In doubles play, Liberty Bell’s Chloe Temple and Christina Dominguez beat a duo from Entiat, 7-6 (7-3 tiebreaker), 7-5, but had to forfeit the next match against Tonasket because of other commitments.
In boys’ singles play, Isaac Blodgett won his first match against a Tonasket foe, 6-4, 6-4, lost to Lake Roosevelt, 5-, 4-6, then faced another Lake Roosevelt player in a loser-out match. In a long, rugged encounter, Blodgett lost 2-6, 6-3, 6-7 (3-7 tiebreaker).
Blodgett was suffering from the after-effects of flu or might have moved to the next level of play, Schulz said.
Tyler White, playing No. singles, won over Entiat, 6-0, 6-1, lost to last year’s state champion from Tonasket, 0-6, 0-6, then was eliminated in a 3-6, 4-6 loss to Lake Roosevelt.
It was a trying trip through the doubles bracket for Liberty Bell’s Grubb and Haley, but they emerged with a fourth-place finish and continue play this week. They survived Lake Roosevelt, 7-6, 7-3, 7-6, lost to Tonasket, 4-6, 1-6, recovered against another Lake Roosevelt team, 6-3, 6-4, before falling 4-6, 1-6 to Pateros in their final match. A win would have given them third place. Konnor Dorn and Evan Budrow lost to Oroville, 4-6, 2-6, and were eliminated.
Schulz said the larger 1A schools are now part of the mix, which will make it challenging for Liberty Bell’s players to advance.