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By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Depth leads Goldendale girls tennis past Granger, Zillah


March 28, 2018

Jaryd Cline

Kelli Bighorn prepares to serve against Zillah on Tuesday in Goldendale.

The Goldendale girls tennis team, in its journey to bring a South Central Athletic Conference district title to the school, was set for its toughest challenge of the season so far last Thursday against the La Salle Lightning.

However, for the second time this young season, the Timberwolves had a match postponed and scheduled for a later date because of poor weather.

Head coach Channon Bighorn will have to wait just a little bit longer to see how his strong girls team stacks up to the notoriously tough Lightning squad, which has had either singles or doubles teams in the state tournament every year since making the jump to the Class 1A level during the 2010-11 season. A date and time for the postponed match hasn't been set yet.

While the Wolves are waiting for a date to see when they will face the Lightning for the first time this season, they made up a match that previously was postponed.


The Granger Spartans were in town on Monday for the match that originally was set for March 13 but was rained out.

The Spartans were able to capture the No. 1 and 2 doubles matches, but some strong singles play from Halie Allen and Alyssa Simmons, and No. 3 doubles of Ashley Bartkowski and Isabell Nadler propelled the Wolves to the team win.

Talia Johnson and Kelli Bighorn, at No. 1 doubles, played their toughest opponents of the year so far against Granger's Naya Roettger and Avabel Castillo. The Goldendale duo fell 7-5 in the first set before a second-set tiebreaker pushed the Spartans ahead. Tied 6-6 in the second set, Granger captured the tiebreaker, which is decided by whichever team wins seven points but also having to win by two points. The Spartans took the tiebreaker 7-5 before Goldendale could force a third set.

Granger then took the No. 2 doubles over Kristin Bighorn and Kylee Beam with a 6-2, 6-4 win, putting the Wolves in an 0-2 hole.

However, the depth of the Goldendale girls was too much for the visitors. Allen won in straight sets (6-4, 6-4) over Mya Roettger and Simmons cruised to a sweep (6-0, 6-0) over Cierra Middleton without dropping a point.

"Our whole girls team won because our singles players and our third doubles were absolutely awesome in making up the difference," assistant coach Tiffany Ferch said in an email.

Bartkowski and Nadler in third doubles also had little trouble in a 6-0, 6-1 win to help the girls, as a team, hold off the Spartans 3-2.

The boys, however, had a little more trouble, falling 3-1 with the only win coming by forfeit.

Avery Christianson, at No.1 doubles fell to Trennen Slade 6-0, 6-0, while No. 2 singles was the boys lone win, with William Finn picking up the win by forfeit. Slade competed at state last year in the doubles tournament and won a match.

Alden Bothamley and John Hanna (first doubles) fell 6-0, 6-1, and Cody Farmer and Hayden Lorton (second doubles) dropped a 6-1, 6-4 match.


Just a day after hosting Granger, Goldendale was back on the courts on Tuesday to host the Zillah Leopards.

The girls team again was able to outlast another SCAC rival, with the team winning three matches to Zillah's two.

Although the No. 1 doubles duo of Kelli Bighorn and Johnson fell in three sets (4-6, 6-2, 4-6) all four of the other Goldendale teams were able to pick up wins as the team remained undefeated.

At No. 1 singles, Kylee Beam won in straight sets (6-1, 6-1) over Hollie Zieglar while Alyssa Simmons won her No. 2 singles match by forfeit.

Kristin Bighorn and Halie Allen (No. 2 doubles) cruised with a 6-1, 6-0 win while Ashley Bartkowski and Isabell Nadler also had little trouble in their 6-0, 6-1 win.

The boys didn't have as much luck though, picking up two wins in the five total games. Each team won a singles match, with Alden Bothamley winning 7-6, 6-4 over Kade Stewart while John Hanna fell in straight sets to Fernando Godov.

Jaryd Cline

Avery Christensen returns the ball during his doubles match on Tuesday.

Avery Christiansen and Cody Farmer, at No. 1 doubles, and William Finn and Hayden Lorton, at No. 2 doubles, dropped their matches in straight sets while No. 3 doubles of Reis Long and Mark Blunt won their match in straight sets.

What's next

After taking on the Leopards, the Timberwolves host SCAC East rival Royal on Thursday starting at 3:30 p.m. before they're off for a week during spring break.

After the 10 day hiatus, Goldendale returns to the courts for another nonleague matchup. Originally slated to be played on April 14, the Wolves will host the 2B White Swan Cougars on April 9 with the first matches starting at 11 a.m.


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