COLFAX – In the end, the strength of the Colfax singles players denied the Bear River tennis team a chance at forcing a tie in the Pioneer Valley League standings to create a playoff for postseason eligibility.
Colfax won the crucial league contest 6-3 Wednesday afternoon at Colfax, sweeping all four singles matches in the process.
The outcome of the matchup was essentially the same as the previous time the two teams squared off, with the Falcons winning 5-4 the first time.
With both teams losing twice to Mira Loma and beating Oakmont twice, the fight for the league’s second and final playoff spot came down to Colfax and Bear River. After Bear River lost to Colfax the first time, the Bruins had to win the second matchup to force a playoff.
“It’s tough to start 0-4 (in singles matches) and come back to win five straight matches,” said Bear River coach Jeff Carrow. “That’s a big hole to come out of.”
But his team did go on to win three of the five doubles matches, dropping one that went to an intense tie-breaker to end the day’s competition. The No. 2 girls singles Bear River team of Kayla Garrett and Katie Lichty ended up losing 10-9 (7-3).
Bear River’s No. 1 doubles duo of Ashley Lowe and Marie Paquin won the team’s first match of the day 10-9 (7-1) in a re-match that turned out to be much closer than the first.
The Bruins’ No. 2 boys doubles team of Alex Fischer and Andrew Thorpe, along with the mixed doubles team of Neil Erickson and Tori Masucci, won 10-3 and 10-4 respectively.
“Our best option (to win) was in doubles,” Carrow said. “Traditionally, our strength is our depth. We can usually hang with people at the top of the ladder, but our overall our doubles players probably have a .750-.800 winning percentage.”
The Bruins were unable to win a singles set against the sharp-swinging Colfax singles players this season with Carrow commenting that the challenge for his team next season will be to improve in singles.
And with all but two of his 14 top players returning the team is optimistic it can do just that. Carrow excepts to see his No. 1 singles player Garrett Gregory become one of the top singles players in the league next season, especially considering both Colfax and Mira Loma will graduate their top players.
Bear River (8-4) hosts Mesa Verde at 3:30 p.m. today.
No. 1 singles – Kari Zajac (C) def. Miki Kono, 6-3, 6-0
No. 2 singles – Heidi Graves (C) def. Katherine Erickson, 6-3, 6-3
No. 1 doubles – Ashley Lowe and Marie Paquin (BR) def. Megan Spears and Katie Lichty, 10-9 (7-1)
No. 2 doubles – Kayla Garrett and Mari Katsuri (C) def. Aleah Madsen and Jeanne McAteer, 10-9 (7-4)
No. 1 singles – Kyle Graves (C) def. Garrett Gregory, 6-3, 6-4
No. 2 singles – Ken Jones (C) def. Cameron Lewis, 6-0, 6-3
No. 1 doubles – Charles Luke and Barry Rose def. Rick Fowler and Pat Miller (10-4)
No. 2 doubles – Alex Fischer and Andrew Thorpe (BR) def. J.T. Evans and Brenden Armstrong, 10-3
Mixed – Neil Erickson and Tori Masucci (BR) def. Vojta Nemec and Rachel Fritz, 10-4
To contact sportswriter Stacy Hicklin, e-mail email@example.com or call 477-4244.
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