The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Three Goldendale tennis doubles teams to state, one as an alternate


John Longfellow

Alden Bothamley returns a shot during a late season singles match. Bothamley played singles for most of the year, but teamed up with John Hanna late in the season to form a doubles team, and are now headed to the state tournament after finishing fourth place at last weekend's district tournament in Connell.

Three Goldendale doubles tennis groups advanced to the district tournament last weekend in Connell where all three teams played well enough to advance to this weekend's state championships.

Goldendale's top girls doubles duo of Talia Johnson and Kelli Bighorn finished third among the eight doubles teams at the South Central Athletic Conference District Tournament on Friday and Saturday and will be making their second straight appearance at state.

They will be joined by a pair of teams making their state debuts, although the team's second girls doubles group of Halie Allen and Kristin Bighorn will serve as an alternate after a fourth place finish.

John Hanna and Alden Bothamley, who both played singles for most of the season and made the switch to doubles a few matches before the playoffs, took fourth in the bracket to earn a bid to state.

The top three finishing girls teams, singles and doubles, each advanced to state with the fourth place finishers serving as alternates. The top four boys teams make state with the fifth an alternate.

It was a double elimination tournament, although the East No. 4 seed and the West No. 5 seed met in a loser's out match with the winner advancing to the eight team district bracket.

Allen and Kristin Bighorn finished as the West's No. 5 seed and matched up against a Connell doubles team in the 5/4 matchup to determine who would advance to the district bracket. They had little trouble in knocking off the hometown team, winning 6-1, 6-3, although they faced a tougher challenge in their next match.

They fell to eventual doubles champion Kaitlyn Roettger and Sophie Blodgett, from Granger, in the first round and were dropped to the loser's bracket.

Johnson and Kelli Bighorn bested a Connell team in their first round match in two sets (6-1, 6-2) but faced Roettger and Blodgett in the winner's bracket semifinals, falling 3-6, 5-7, to move to the loser's bracket.

One more loss for either doubles team means they would be eliminated, but neither team lost until they both met in the third/fourth place loser's bracket finals.

Allen and Kristin Bighorn won in straight sets (6-3, 7-5) in their first loser's bracket match against a Connell team, and won their next match with Zillah's Abbie Meyers and Makilie Hernandez 7-5, 6-3, to reach the finals in the bracket.

Johnson and Kelli Bighorn won 6-3, 6-2, in their first loser's bracket game against a doubles duo from College Place, sending them to the third/fourth place match where they would play Allen and Kristin Bighorn for the second straight week. The winner would earn a bid to state while the other serves as an alternate. Johnson and Kelli Bighorn came away with a 6-2, 6-4 win to take third.

Hanna and Bothamley led off with a tough three-set loss against a Connell group. They won the first 6-2, but dropped the next two sets including a third set that had to be decided by a 12 point tiebreaker. Connell took the second set 6-2, and won the third-set tiebreaker 7-5.

Hanna and Bothamley played strong in the loser's bracket though, winning their next two matches to reach the third/fourth place match, while finishing in either spot would send them to state.

Their first win was in two sets (6-2, 6-4) over Zillah's Anthony Wesselius and Cody Vance. They then knocked off a team from Columbia Burbank in two (6-2, 6-4) to reach the third/fourth place match, which slated them against Highland's Isaias Garcia and Rogelio Alvarez. The Highland duo won 6-3, 6-4, giving Hanna and Bothamley the fourth place finish and giving them a berth to state.

The state matches run Friday and Saturday at the Yakima Tennis Club at 516 N 35th Ave. in Yakima.

Johnson and Kelli Bighorn match up with Cascade Christian's Grace and Kate Jung in the opening match while Hanna and Bothamley face Okanogan's Max Cheeseman and Jay Nearents. Last season, Cheeseman and Nearents won the state doubles championship.

Times haven't been set as of Monday night for the opening matches.


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