Scottie Ziegner breezed through the first three rounds of the Special District 1 tennis tournament over the weekend in Sunriver before dropping the next two to finish fourth overall and secure a qualifying round match Thursday in the opening round of the OSAA State Championships.
The Hood River Valley High School sophomore was the only state qualifier for the team, which finished fifth overall in the tournament over Pendleton, Hermiston and The Dalles but behind the league’s four Intermountain Conference teams.
“We did pretty well overall to get fifth place,” Coach Jon Hiatt commented. “We defeated the other three Columbia River Conference teams but lost to all of the IMC teams. It is and has historically been the toughest district to qualify for state from.”
Hiatt said he was proud of the kids for their efforts and that every one of them played the best tennis of the season when it counted.
“We are a young team and are improving every time we get out on the court, which I’m proud of,” he said.
The team picked up three wins from Ziegner, one from the duo of Billy Edwards and Will Fick and one from Victor Gabrio and Patrick Humann. For Ziegner, the season continues Thursday at Portland Tennis Center, where he’ll face Liberty’s Shaun Thean in a play-in round of the state tournament. He gained that opportunity by handily defeating Jacob Snell of Hermiston (6-0, 6-1), Carlos Barajas of The Dalles-Wahtonka (6-0, 6-0) and Calen Fitzsimmons of Redmond (6-0, 6-0) before screeching to a halt against Zach Powell of Redmond.
“Powell is an experienced senior who plays tournaments year round,” Hiatt said. “He had Scottie’s number; Scottie just couldn’t get anything going against him.”
The 6-0, 6-0 loss put Ziegner – seeded third in the tournament – in the third and fourth place match against Philip Attkinson of Mountain View. He lost the match 7-5, 2-6, 6-2 after leading 4-0 in the first set.
“He used some stalling techniques to break Scottie’s rhythm in the first set,” Hiatt said. “He played his best in the second set but ran out of steam in the third.”
Girls tennis at districts
Hood River Valley High School varsity girls tennis wrapped up its season over the weekend in heat-wave conditions with temperatures reaching into the upper 90s at Hermiston High School. Singles players Miranda Starr, Maddy Graham, Olivia Newcomb, and Siena Harlin and doubles teams Emilee Ziegner/ Anna Gumperlein, Vanessa Sandoval/Petra Knapp, Claire Rawson/Sophie Oswald and Elle Webb and Naomi Greenwald represented the Eagles in the 5A Special District 1 championship.
Leading the way for the team was Graham, a sophomore, who was the only player to carry on after the first day of competition and ended up placing eighth overall. The duo of Webb and Greenwald advanced to day-two but had a scheduling conflict and had to withdraw from the tournament. None of the other girls advanced.