Lomartire, Kemper hope to score again at state tournament
by: Miles Vance STILL FIGHTING — Valley Catholic sophomore Kaitlyn Lomartire finished third at district and will now get to defend the state title she won last year.

BEAVERTON - There's no doubt about it - Class 4A/3A/2A/1A's District 1 is the best tennis league in the state.

Nonetheless, competing in the District 1 championship over the past several days, the Valley Catholic girls tennis team made its mark.

The District 1 tournament opened Saturday and wound up on Tuesday at Tualatin Hills Tennis Center, and when all was said and done, the Valiants had qualified two singles players to this week's state tournament.

The Class 4A/3A/2A/1A state tournament opens at 5 p.m. today (Thursday), and continues at 8 a.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday at the University of Oregon in Eugene.

In the girls tournament, the Valiants proved that their best - in this case, singles players Kaitlyn Lomartire and Tori Kemper - were also among the district's best.

Both Lomartire - the reigning Class 4A/3A/2A/1A state champ - and Kemper played their way into the tournament semifinals, and while neither won there, both played well along the way.

'District, overall, went well for my team,' said Valley Catholic girls coach Laura DeSantis. 'Everyone made it past the first round, nice and strong, however, only two made it to state.'

Lomartire, a sophomore, opened with a bye, knocked off Lauren Barton of Westside Christian 6-0, 6-0 in round two, dumped Isabel Jones of Riverdale 6-1, 6-2 in the quarterfinals, then fell to Kate Rubinstein of Catlin Gabel 6-4, 6-3 in her semifinal.

Undaunted, Lomartire came back to beat Kemper 6-1, 6-1 and secure third place in the tournament.

Kemper, a junior, followed a similar path, starting with a bye, then beating Brooke Layendecker of OES 6-4, 6-2 in round two, and Erin Bennett of Tillamook 6-3, 6-1 in the quarterfinals before falling to eventual tourney champ Rachel Nedrow of OES 6-1, 6-0 in her semi.

'The key to their success, hands down, has been their commitment and dedication to the sport,' DeSantis of Kemper and Lomartire. 'They have worked very hard this year at each and every practice and it has clearly paid off.'

None of the Valiants' other singles players or doubles teams reached the tournament quarterfinals.

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