Three Lady Outlaws compete at State
Last updated 5/23/2023 at 3:35pm
The girls tennis squad sent three junior players — Juhree Kizziar, Brooke Harper, and Katie Ryan — to the state tennis tournament held in Corvallis Friday and Saturday, May 19- 20.
Kizziar (No. 1 singles) who was the District 4 Champion, defeated sophomore Addison Roberts of Sutherlan 6-2, 6-2. Kizziar was very consistent and Roberts made numerous unforced errors.
“Juhree is a very good defender and retriever that most players over hit or get frustrated,” said Coach Bruce Fenn. “This year she handled more pace and moved forward more comfortably to close out points at the net.”
In the quarterfinals, Kizziar faced Reagan Farm of North Bend, who was the best-ranked player in the tournament (ranked in the top three in the Pacific Northwest). Farm had both the experience and the power to keep Kizziar off balance and out of position to hit any short balls for winners. Kizziar had three break points in the first set and it was a fight for Farm to win her games.
Fenn said, “The games were contested and Juhree played well. She found out she can compete with the big hitters.”
Harper (No. 2 singles district semifinalist) gave it her best, despite the fact she was nursing a nagging injury. Harper was defeated 2-6, 2-6 by her Oregon Episcopal opponent.
Fenn said, “I was very proud of Brooke’s willingness to give her best try. Brooke wants to get healthy and play a lot of tennis before next year. She bowed out of the tournament with medical injuries.”
Sisters’ other district semifinalist, Ryan, challenged No. 4 seed Ryan Lomber and fell 1-6, 3-6. Most every game was contested, close, and a fight, but in the end Lomber was able to win out.
In the consolation bracket, Ryan lost in an eight-game pro set 4-8 to Jaclyn Albert, who won consolation.
“That match was so close and Katie had her chances,” said Fenn. “Each point was close and a mental battle of who would break first. Albert’s experience played to her advantage. Katie found that she can play tennis at a high level.”
All three players shared their feelings about the event.
“I was very excited to be at State for the third time,” said Kizziar. “There is no pressure, just play and do your best. I see where I am in my game and what I need to work on to improve. It was super fun! I was so proud of the whole team and how our team prepared us to be at State. The coaches and the community made this incredible year a success.”
Ryan said, “Just getting the ball back is what it’s all about. It’s fun to try to figure out how to play someone, and I played the best I’ve ever played.”
Harper stated, “I know I didn’t play my best, but it was cool being here. I look forward to next year.”
Fenn summed up the Lady Outlaws’ season.
“This year was different because of being moved to a 20-team league divided into four five-team subdistricts. We didn’t play many of the teams in our regular season. We first met at the district championships in Pendleton and Hermiston. I felt we all handled the changes in stride and came out the champions. It was a remarkable season all things (weather and new teams) considered. Next year we will be much better. With the experience this year in a new league and another year of preparation with three state qualifiers, and 12 returning varsity players, we should repeat our successes and even do better!