LA GRANDE TENNIS DUO WINS DISTRICT
KENNEWICK, Wash. It was win, place, show for the La Grande tennis boys.
The La Grande tennis doubles took first, second and third in the District 3 tournament completed at the Tri-Cities Court Club Saturday and the La Grande boys won the district championship as a team. The girls took third as a team.
The duo of John Woodfield and Levi Morrison won the tournament, while Seth Pennington and Matt Nightingale came in second, and Dan Jones and Sean Gregory finished third.
Meanwhile, singles' player Stephanie Keith finished second for the La Grande girls and Aaron Nebeker fourth.
All eight players had already qualified for the 3A state tournament in Eugene beginning Friday. It is the most tennis players La Grande has sent to state.
Woodfield and Morrison had to beat Pennington and Nightingale to win the district championship, taking their teammates by the score of 7-6 (7-1), 6-3.
Coach Mike Schireman figured Woodfield-Morrison and Pennington-Nightingale would finish one-two at district. A pleasant surprise was the play of Jones and Gregory. They also lost to Woodfield-Morrison 6-2, 6-2, but then came back and beat a Mac-Hi duo 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 to finish third.
Keith beat Renee Sagger of Mac-Hi after a slow start 0-6, 6-4, 6-2 to get into the championship match, which she lost to Tammy Weidert of Weston-McEwen 6-3, 6-2.
"She came out a little flat (in the first match). She became more offensive and played some solid tennis," said Schireman.
Schireman said Nebeker's fourth-place finish was a bit of a disappointment since he was seeded No. 1 coming in to the tournament, but he pointed out that the junior is just a second-year player.
"He's come a long way for a second-year player to be that tough," Schireman said.
Schireman said his players have a chance to make a strong showing at state.
"They'll be competitive. This has been a really good season for the boys and girls," he said.
District 3 tennis championships
Tri-Cities Club Court, May 17
Girls Singles Semifinals
Stephanie Keith, La Grande def. Renee Sagger, Mac-Hi 0-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Tammy Weidert, Weston-McEwen def. Keith, La Grande 6-3, 6-2.
Boys Singles Semifinals
Brett Brown, Sherman Co. def. Aaron Nebeker, La Grande 7-5, 1-6, 6-4.
Third-fourth Aaron Beemer, Helix def. Nebeker, La Grande 7-5, 6-4.
John Woodfield-Levi Morrison, La Grande def. Dan Jones-Sean Gregory, La Grande 6-2, 6-2; Seth Pennington-Matt Nightingale, La Grande def. Victor Corona and Jose Pinoco, Mac-Hi 6-2, 6-0.
Woodfield-Morrison, La Grande def. Pennington-Nightingale, La Grande 7-6 (7-1), 6-3.
Third-Fourth Jones-Gregory, La Grande def. Corona-Pinoco, Mac-Hi 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.