The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Goldendale girls tennis claims league title after beating Scotties


Jaryd Cline

Senior Talia Johnson gets ready to deliver a fierce serve to Naches' top doubles team last Thursday.

Prior to the start of this year's spring sports season, Goldendale head tennis coach Channon Bighorn knew his strong and experienced team of girls could compete for, and possibly take the South Central Athletic Conference West district title.

With strong singles players and deep doubles depth, the girls cruised through most of their South Central Athletic Conference West matches with just one loss, an April 10 road defeat to the Naches Rangers.

They handled the notoriously tough La Salle Lightning girls in both meetings (April 23 and May 4) and bounced back to knock off the Rangers in the team's last home match of the season last Thursday.

Now, the Goldendale girls can now call themselves league champs after knocking off the Highland Scotties on Tuesday and finishing the regular season 11-1 in league play.

All three of Goldendale's girls doubles teams won in straight sets while first singles of Kylee Beam also won in two sets.

The boys also took four of five matches from the Scotties.

Next up for the Timberwolves is the SCAC West Sub District Tournament which kicks off Saturday at 10 a.m. in Sunnyside.

La Salle

The Goldendale girls doubles depth outdueled the La Salle Lightning last Friday in a 3-2 Goldendale win with all three wins coming from doubles matches while both of La Salle's wins came from singles.

All three of the girls doubles wins came in straight sets, led by first doubles of Talia Johnson and Kelli Bighorn winning 6-2, 6-2. Second doubles of Kristin Bighorn and Halie Allen had little trouble in their 6-0, 6-1, win, and Ashley Bartkowski and Isabell Nadler-Casimiro won their third doubles match 6-3, 6-2.

La Salle's tough singles teams made it difficult for Goldendale, as No. 1 Kylee Beam fell 0-6, 1-6, and second Alyssa Simmons dropped a 3-6, 1-6 decision.

The boys fell as a team 2-1 while mixing some players up in positions they normally hadn't played in games.

William Finn, who usually plays first doubles along with Hayden Lorton, manned the first singles slot last Friday, but fell 3-6, 3-6. Lorton played in the second singles match and won in two sets over TJ Bambalu 6-4, 6-0.

Usually playing first and second singles respectively, John Hanna and Alden Bothamley teamed up and competed with La Salle's first doubles team, winning the first set 7-5 before falling in the next two 0-6, 2-6.


The only team so far this season to beat Goldendale's girls, Naches was in town for senior day last Thursday, giving the home team another stiff test.

Naches picked up wins in both the first and second singles matches, but Goldendale's strong doubles depth once again was able to push the team to victory.

Kelli Bighorn and Johnson were able to take care of business in two sets (6-4, 6-1) in the first doubles match, but the second and third doubles matches were a little more closely contested.

Kristin Bighorn and Allen dropped the first set in the second doubles match 5-7, tied it up with a 6-1 win in the second set, and closed out the match by winning the decisive third set 6-4.

At third doubles, Bartkowski and Nadler-Casimiro also dropped the first set in a 1-6 decision, but like the second doubles team before them, bounced back to take the second and third sets (6-4, 6-4) for the comeback win.

Alyssa Simmons (0-6, 2-6) and Leslie Smith (0-6, 0-6) both fell in two sets in their first and second singles matches respectively.

The boys also came away with a win on senior day, winning three matches to two over the Rangers.

Hanna started off in the first singles slot, dropping a tough, long-fought battle in three sets to Naches' Casey Brown. Hanna dropped the first 3-6, tied it up with a 7-5 win in the second, but couldn't hang on in the third, falling 4-6. Bothamley followed Hanna for a straight-sets win (6-2, 6-4) in the second singles match.

Finn and Lorton cruised to a 6-3, 6-1, win in first doubles, while third doubles of Jeremiah Ricks and Avery Christensen also won in (6-1, 6-2) straight sets. Mark Blunt and Cody Farmer took the opening set of the second doubles match 6-1, but couldn't hang on over the second and third, dropping those sets 1-6, 4-6, for the tough decision.


The Goldendale girls had little to no trouble knocking off the Leopards on their home court last Tuesday, winning all five matches with two coming via forfeit.

All three doubles teams won against Zillah, while first and second singles of Beam and Leslie Smith both finished as winners without stepping foot on the court.

First doubles Johnson and Kelli Bighorn lost to Zillah's top doubles duo of Abbie Meyers and Makielie Hemendez in the team's first meeting in Goldendale on March 26, returned the favor by beating them in three sets on their home court. Johnson and Bighorn took the first easily with a 6-1 set win, fell in the second 6-8, and held on 6-4 in the decisive third for the win. Their win set the state for Goldendale's second and third doubles teams which both went on to win in straight sets.

Allen and Kristin Bighorn, at second doubles, dropped just one game over the two sets in their 6-1, 6-0, win, while Bartkowski and Nadler-Casimiro followed with a 6-1, 6-1, win.

It was a different story for the boys though, whose only win in the five matches was from a Leopard forfeit in the third doubles match.


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