Tennis: Lady Tigers upset Galena to move to regional title match |

Tennis: Lady Tigers upset Galena to move to regional title match

by Joey Crandall

Tennis: Lady Tigers upset Galena

After a whirlwind of a tiebreaker round that came down to the final set, the Douglas girls’ tennis team pulled off an improbably upset of the regional powerhouse Galena program on Friday.

The 10-9 (4-2 tiebreaker) win vaulted Douglas into its second regional title match in three years. The Tigers will travel to the Caughlin Club in Reno Monday to take on the juggernaut Reno Huskies program at 2:30 p.m.

Douglas’ win on Friday featured swings in momentum, clutch play and even a little bit of marked strategy as the Tigers avenged an early season tiebreaker loss to the Grizzles.

“This was a great team victory,” Douglas coach Roger Rusmisel said. “Each round was split 3-3 with our singles winning each round, including a sweep of round 2.”

It was during that round that No. 2 singles player Sarah Weaver pulled off a gutsy 11-9 tiebreaker against Galena’s No. 1 Jessica Cohen.

“The final point was a rally of at least 40 shots as the crowd watched silently until Sarah hit a ball into the corner that Cohen couldn’t get back over the net,” Rusmisel said.

Courtney McKimmey, Douglas’ No. 3 player, also picked up a key win in the round over a player who has been seeded in the upcoming individual regional championships. McKimmey went 3-1 on the day.

“Both of those second-round victories were reversals of the regular season match that Galena won,” Rusmisel said.

The doubles team of Amanda Caras and Kelly Sonnemann sent the match into the tiebreaker with a gritty 6-4 win in the final round.

“They played through several deuces and advantage outs as both teams and the fans crowded around the court knowing the match rested on those key points,” Rusmisel said. “Amanda and Kelly kept amazing focus to get to ad point before prevailing to win the set in a long rally.”

Two keys played strongly into the tiebreaker. First, Weaver came up with a 7-2 win against a player who had beaten her soundly in the first round.

Second was a move that came before the match even started. Rusmisel lined his No. 1 doubles team of Ingrid Carlson and Rochelle Seymour up in the No. 3 slot for the match. The duo went 1-2 during the actual match, picking up the only doubles victory for Douglas during regulation. The move allowed the due to be paired up against the Galena No. 3 squad in the tiebreaker.

They picked up a 7-3 win, giving Douglas a needed doubles point. Weaver’s tiebreaker win set up the singles sweep, giving Douglas the tiebreaker round victory 4-2.

“Sarah came up huge,” Rusmisel said. “That is the second time this year that she has led us to victory in a tiebreaker round to a girl who had given her a rare first-round defeat.”

Kari TenBroeck won all four of her sets on the day, despite a nagging injury that has limited her practice time.

“She had an undefeated match when every point counted,” Rusmisel said. “Before the tiebreaker round, I reminded the girls that every point counted. They all played well in the extra round.”