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Redmond matches, invitational keep both tennis teams busy

Alice Briant overcomes painful calf muscle and wins singles match

by: ANDREW MATHESON/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Stephanie Whitcomb, middle, hits what would be the longest putt of the afternoon on Saturday at Meadow Lakes Golf Course. Whitcomb’s putt was estimated to be between 35-40 feet, as she won the women’s long putt prize at the Crook County benefit tourney. Megan Whitcomb, a former Cowgirl, and Brian Whitcomb, the president of the PGA, stand next to Stephanie all smiles.

In back-to-back matches, the Crook County Cowboys and Cowgirls faced Redmond High School Monday and other opponents during the weekend at Treasure Valley Community College (TVCC).
   Cowgirls and Cowboys vs. Redmond
   The Redmond Panthers fought back against Crook County's girls and boys tennis teams Monday, defeating the girls 5-3, and the boys 6-2.
   "Alice Briant really played well," said girls Head Coach Lloyd Rodgers. "She was tentative in the first set."
   Rodgers said it appeared as though Briant had injured a calf muscle, but she wanted to continue playing, and so he taped it for her.
   She played well against Redmond opponent Aurora Gangan in singles, "and to come back and beat her was a pretty good accomplishment," Rodgers said. Briant defeated Gangan 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.
   He mixed up the singles and doubles.
   "It helps their overall game," the coach said.
   In other singles action, Redmond's Corey Rucker defeated Koko Okamura 6-3, 6-2. Krissy Neibauer defeated fellow Cowgirl Kristi Robinson 6-3, 6-1. Alison Coughlin won against Jessica Farrell 6-0, 6-0 in straight sets.
   In doubles action, the Cowgirls fared a little better, as Krissi Kemper and Mollee Robinson won against Amy Powell and Chelsea Gibbs 6-0, 6-3. Kelsey White and Taylor Rodby beat Denise Switala and Molly Zook 6-2, 6-7, 7-6 and 9-7 in the tiebreaker. Crook County bounced back with another win, as Katie Leavitt and Tessa Romine defeated Torrey DeMarie-Thille and Tammy Knapp 6-3, 7-5.
   Redmond's Ryan Harbert and Hillary Kirk defeated Cassie Low and Brin McAttee 6-3, 7-6, 8-6.
   Despite a strong attempt, the Cowboys lost to Redmond 6-2 Monday afternoon.
   "We just mixed everybody up today," Head Coach Sue Boyle said. "We didn't go with our usual lineup."
   In singles competition, Riccardo Bohle lost to Redmond's Slade Menold 6-2, 6-3.
   "You know we did pretty well," Boyle said. "Singles was pretty close. Riccardo was pretty good at No. 1."
   Jorge Toledo lost to Andrew Chriss 6-1, 6-2 and John Morgan lost to Ari Delashmutt 6-4, 6-0. Fellow Cowboy Tom Leavitt lost to Isaac Peters 6-4, 6-1.
   In doubles action, Cowboys Michael Cutuli and Lex Romine defeated Matt Miller and Ben Wright 6-1, 6-2.
   Paul Robideau and Zac Thompson lost to Stephen Rigsby and Phillip Glover 3-6, 6-2, 6-1. In another win for Crook County, Mike Bates and Joe Oehlschlaeger defeated Spencer Morgan and Jered Dacus 6-2, 6-3. Jeff Robideau and Alex Finnerin lost to Jeremy Heyer and Shane Annichiarico 6-3, 6-2.
   Treasure Valley Community College High School Invitational
   The Cowgirls took second at the Treasure Valley Community College (TVCC) High School Invitational this past weekend, but could not beat Parma High School, which captured first place.
   "The girls did exceptionally well," Rodgers said. "We took five of the six divisions."
   Students played in first, second and third singles and first through third doubles.
   "We were in all three of the singles finals and in all three of those we split sets on singles," Rodgers said. "That's how difficult it was. In one of the doubles, we split sets too."
   "The Parma boys dominated like our girls dominated," he said of the Idaho high school. Parma went on to win the trophy, recognizing its boys and girls teams.
   Mark Heleker, the invitational director and TVCC's men's and women's tennis coach, said that besides Crook County and Parma, teams from Vale, Ore., and Payette, and Weiser, Idaho, also competed.
   Overall team scores were as follows: Parma, 61; CCHS, 36; Vale, 16; Payette, 10, and Weiser, 9. Girls' team scores were: Crook County, 27; Parma, 17; Vale, 12, Weiser, 8, and Payette, 2. Boys' scores were: Parma, 44; Crook County, 9; Payette, 8; Vale, 4, and Weiser, 1.
   "This is actually only the second year we completed the tournament," Heleker said. In 2004, Crook County won. However, in 2005 the invitational was rained out and players were not able to finish their games. A tournament was not held in 2006, because of conflicts in scheduling.
   Rodgers also commented on his own team and how they did.
   "It wasn't an easy win by any means," Rodgers said. "I mean, they had to dig down deep and make it a win. The girls dug down. It was tough."
   In addition to playing Redmond High on Monday, the girls play Summit High School today, Tuesday, and then play against Hermiston and Pendleton Friday, in one of their busiest weeks of the season.
   "Then of course Hermiston is the dominating team," Rodgers said. "Both for boys and girls, it will be very difficult to win."
   Boyle said singles player Lex Romine ended up No. 3 overall at the invitational. In No. 2 singles, Tim Fenderson and Bohle lost in the semi-finals "and we didn't get a placement there," Boyle said. In No. 3 singles, John Morgan and Tom Leavitt both lost in their first rounds.
   As for No. 1 doubles, Paul Robideau and Zac Thompson lost in the finals and finished No. 2 overall for the weekend. No. 2 doubles Oehlschlaeger and Toledo won the consolation and ended up No. 3 in doubles overall. The No. 3 doubles was a round robin and fellow Cowboys Jeff Robideau and Alex Finnerin ended up No. 3 overall.
   "We did well," Boyle said. "There's new faces to play, and I think it was good to play different people than here in central Oregon, so it was a good experience."
   Today, Tuesday, the boys play at Summit High School. Boyle said they will spend practice time Wednesday and Thursday on drills and practice games. They face Hermiston and Pendleton on Friday at CCHS.
   "They'll be tough matches," she said. "Hermiston is very good. I'm thinking we will have a close match with Pendleton."