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Lomartire wins singles crown for Valley Catholic

The Valiant sophomore is the schol's second singles winner in three years

EUGENE - Valley Catholic has had a lot of success in girls athletics over the years, so it's not always easy to break new ground, but Valley Catholic freshman Kaitlyn Lomartire came very, very close to it Saturday.

Lomartire, Valley Catholic's top singles player, proved herself to be the state's best singles player too, winning the Class 4A/3A/2A/1A state championship on Saturday. The Class 4A/3A/2A/1A state tournament was held May 20 through Saturday at the University of Oregon,

And after a long and successful spring season that also saw Lomartire win the Special District 1 championship 10 days earlier, she was overcome by her accomplishment at state. Lomartire beat Kate Rubinstein of Catlin Gabel - the same player she beat in the District 1 finale - in Saturday's state championship.

'I was in tears when I came up to the net to meet her,' Lomartire said. 'It was really emotional.'

In winning the state title, Lomartire became just the second girl from Valley Catholic to win the state championship, joining 2008 singles champ Sophie Engelhardt, and just the fourth VC girl to reach a state title match (Marie Maurer and Marion Hunt reached the state doubles final in 1997).

Lomartire, the top seed in the singles bracket, opened the tournament with a bye, knocked off Junction City's Tate Wiley 6-0, 6-4 in round two, then dispatched Marine Tresnie of Sisters 6-3, 6-3 in the state quarterfinals.

But things got tougher from there. In the semifinals, Lomartire needed three sets to get past Central's Rike Higl 6-7 (6-8), 7-5, 6-0. Higl upset the fourth seed to earn her spot in the semi. And Rubinstein, Catlin Gabel's top player and the second seed, was tough n the final too, winning the first set 6-2 before Lomartire responded. There, with her back to the wall and the state title on the line, Lomartire stepped up to win the second set 6-3, then stepped on the accelerator to win the third - and the state crown -- 6-1.

After her match, Lomartire credited the assistance and encouragement that helped her along the way.

'I just had a lot of help from my coaches,' she said. That 'and all the support from my team and fans.'

Lomartire's efforts helped Valley Catholic to second place in the team standings with eight points, trailing only Oregon Episcopal's 16. OES made its mark in doubles, where Paige Carlson and Rachel Nedrow beat teammates Jordana Lewis and Caitlyn Au 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 in the state title match.

Boys Tournament

In the 4A/3A/2A/1A boys tournament, Valley Catholic sent just one doubles team into the fray, but that duo - senior Ryan Cook and sophomore Conor Picken - made their appearance a successful one.

Cook and Picken opened with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Milton Watson and Clayton Forshee of Umatilla, then took out Jarred Lincoln and Zach Reichenberger of North Bend 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 in round two.

But OES' Ryan Stack and Manav Kohli - the eventual tournament runners-up - awaited in the quarterfinals. Cook and Picken gave the OES pair a good run, however, before falling short, losing in three sets 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (0).

Adam Kubrich and Chace Stalcup of Estacada beat Stack and Kohli 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (8) in the title match. In singles, Peter Beatty of Catlin Gabel beat Varun Iyengar of Oregon Episcopal 6-3, 6-0.

Catlin Gabel won the team title with 22 points while OES was second at 12.