Outlaws advance seven players to District Championships
Last updated 5/16/2023 at 2:14pm
The Outlaws girls tennis team have qualified three singles players and two doubles teams to advance to the District Championships in Pendleton, on Friday and Saturday, May 12-13.
The district billets came out of competition in the sub district tournament held in Madras Tuesday and Wednesday, May 9-10.
Juhree Kizziar (No. 1 singles) remained undefeated in league with 15 wins and zero losses and will be the No. 1 seed at the District Championships. She swept her match against Diana Melo of Madras in the first round, and then took down Alexia Diaz from The Dallas with scores of 6-0, 6-1. She beat Brooke Harper in the finals 5-0, as Harper went out with an injury.
“Her (Kizziar’s) fighting spirit and will to win is special,” said Coach Bruce Fenn. “Her game is an all-court game. Juhree can hit hard, handle hard shots, and has slices and drop shots that keep her opponents off balance. She is more comfortable at the net now and can put away balls faster. Her return serve is consistent and her serve has improved this year hitting with pace and placement!”
Fenn told The Nugget that the most exciting match of the two-day tournament was the No. 4 doubles match where Shae and Sage Wyland defeated The Dallas No. 2 doubles team of Ortega/Ham-Perez 6-2, 4-6, and wrapped it up with a 13-11 tiebreak win. The Wylands were behind in the tiebreak and came back with smart net play to close out the match. They advanced to the semis and lost to Crook County’s Cooper/Engstrom 3-6, 3-6.
Coach Fenn said, “They hit winners at the net. They moved in good position and had great defense from the back court hitting high lobs over the net players heads. Their communication with each other is special to watch.”
Brooke Harper (No. 2 singles) also had an exciting match. She took down No. 1 singles Crook County player Sami Ramos 6-2, 6-2. Harper had lost to her earlier in the year and Fenn told The Nugget that this match was a magnificent display of composure and concentration. Harper hit high looping deep balls to Ramos and pushed her way back in the court and didn’t allow her to hit her comfortable hitting style.
Fenn said, “Brook frustrated Ramos and as a result Ramos hit many balls into the net. Brooke was runner-up in singles as she lost to Kizziar.”
Fenn described the final match of the day as a thriller that was over two hours long.
Katie Ryan (No. 3 singles) took on Sami Ramos for third place. Ryan took the first set 6-2 with consistent deep ground strokes to Ramos at the baseline, and Ramos went for too much and hit balls in the net.
In the second set, Ryan went up three games to zero, but Ramos came storming back and won four straight games to go up 4-3. Ryan tied it at 4-4 and then Ramos closed out the set with a 6-4 win. The deciding third set was close. Ryan fought and moved well, but Ramos was able to find more winners in the end.
Sisters No. 1 doubles team, Josie Patton and Lani Mansfield, were the No. 3 seed and it showed with their solid and aggressive net play. They matched up for just the third time this year and Fenn noted they are showing their strength and aggressiveness at the net. They defeated two teams, The Dallas Santillian/Rincon 6-2, 6-4, and Madras’ Park/Chieuellar-Ham 6-3, 6-4. Those two matches qualified them for the District Championships, but unfortunately for them they could not continue in the tournament due to school responsibilities.
“Josie’s strong first serve and Lani’s strong forehand return makes them a team to be watched,” said Fenn. “With their athletic abilities and determination they can go far.”
Three singles players, Kizziar, Ryan, and Harper, and doubles teams, Patton and Mansfield and the Wyland sisters advanced to the District Tournament, where Sisters has hopes of bringing home the trophy.
Fenn said, “We are excited to qualify so many for the District Championships. In this sub-district tournament Sisters has the most players in the District Championships. This gives us a good chance to win the tournament.”