Girls' Tennis: Dream season comes to an end for Lady Tigers

If the dream season had to come to an end, at least it happened going toe-to-toe with the heavyweight of the Northern 4A girls' tennis world - Reno High School.

Douglas fell in the regional championship 11-7 to Reno Friday afternoon at the Caughlin Club in a match that was even closer than the final score showed.

The teams were tied at 3 after the first round and Reno built a slight 7-5 lead after the second, but the entire thing came down to the final three sets of the day, one which Douglas won 7-5 and the other two which the Tigers lost in tiebreakers.

"I don't think it can get any closer than that," Douglas coach Roger Rusmisel said. "We were in a position with those last three matches where if we get three wins, it goes to a tiebreaker and then anything can happen."

It was an early end to a season during which Douglas rattled off an unprecendented 12 consecutive wins, including a 10-8 non-conference win over the Huskies just last week, and claimed the first league title in school history. The Tigers also cruised through the first two rounds of the playoffs before running into Reno's juggernaut lineup.

"If you would have told me at the beginning of the season that it would have ended here in the finals that close to a team like Reno, I would have said there's no way," Rusmisel said. "The girls did it though. They battled hard every day.

They have nothing to be ashamed of."

His point was driven home in the final set of the day, after Reno had already mathematically clinched the win.

Douglas seniors Jamie Lundergreen and Linsey Glass fended off match point down 5-4 for almost 15 minutes with the entire crowd of spectators gathered around their court. They eventually forced the set into the tiebreaker, where Reno was able to push ahead for the win.

"I'm so proud of this whole team," Rusmisel said. "They did everything I have ever asked of them, even down to the end.

"You look at Jamie and Linsey there, even though the overall match was already over, they were battling and playing beatifully as a team. That's what this team was about this year."

Douglas got wins from Amelia Ritger, Kari TenBroeck and the sisters doubles tandem of Sarah and Emily Weaver in the first round.

Ritger went unbeaten on the day, while the Weavers picked up a pair of wins overall. TenBroeck scored one final win in the third round and Lundergreen and Glass had a win in round two to round out Douglas' scoring.

Douglas will be well-represented at next week's individual regional championships with Ritger (No. 2), TenBroeck (No. 3), Cesarina Ceglia (No. 5), the Weavers (No. 2) and Lundergreen and Glass (No. 6) all garnering seeds.

The Tigers will also send seniors Susie White and Kim Lowe as a doubles team in the open draw.

Other members of Douglas' first-ever league title squad included Gabby Buma, Cate Kegg, Katie Sawicki, Rochelle Seymour and Zoe VanderByl.


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