Quincy trio survives districts
Bassett, Ronish and Petersen place fourth
Alex Bassett defeated two of the top seeds in the District 5/6 Tennis Tournament, while the doubles team of Rollie Ronish III and Gunnar Petersen matched its tournament seeding.
Ronish and Petersen, as well as Bassett, placed fourth and earned a berth into the GLUE crossover during Saturday’s District 5/6/7 Championships at Ephrata High School.
The three Quincy tennis players will be seeking one of the two state berths still up for grabs Saturday in Ephrata.
Bassett entered the tournament unseeded, but was named to the CWAC’s All-league team as an honorable mention singles player. The freshman won three matches and lost three matches placing, fourth.
She opened with a bye last Thursday and followed that with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Grandview’s Alexandra Gonzalez on Saturday and won her quarterfinal match over fourth-seeded Chloe Howell of Selah 6-4, 6-3.
Bassett seems to relish the tranquility of the game. Fans have to stay quiet and the only person she has to rely on is herself.
“It’s a sport I enjoy,” she said. “I like the thrill of long rallies. I like the quietness and thinking without anyone telling me anything.”
In the semifinals on Monday, she lost to top-seeded Emily Hirtle of East Valley. Coach Mike Mills said Bassett played well in the loss. She dropped into the consolation bracket and defeated third-seeded Jennifer Mata of Wapato, 6-3, 6-0. Bassett was tied at 2-2 in the first set before pulling away from Mata.
“She started hitting the top-spin forehand,” Mills said. “It was deep in the court and the girl couldn’t return it. She hadn’t had (that shot) this year.”
Bassett also showed remarkable patience and let the win come to her.
“I became a wall against her and did not let anything past me,” she said.
The win qualified her for the district crossover, and her next match was for seeding purposes. Bassett faced Ephrata’s Jennie DeLeon and lost 2-6, 7-5, 6-3.
“My goal was to make day two,” she said.
It’s time for a new goal.
Doubles team takes fourth
Ronish and Petersen accepted a forfeit last Thursday and followed that by winning two of three matches on Saturday. The duo defeated Jeremy Baker and Alex Perez of Toppenish 6-1, 6-1, but fell to an unseeded team from Wapato 6-2, 6-3. The came back that night with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Ephrata’s Tucker Merchant and Beau Miller.
The duo advanced to Monday and defeated Othello’s Lorenzo Garza and Collin Freeman, the tournament’s No. 2 seed. Ronish and Petersen won 7-5, 6-7 (7-9), 6-1, despite losing to the duo two weeks ago in league play.
“We just needed to finish,” said Petersen, who had four Big Gulps in the match. Big Gulps are smashes that result in the tennis ball bouncing over the fence. He has 12 on the year.
“I have none on the year,” said Ronish. “I put shots away and they hit the top of the fence.”
The win advanced them into the seeding match, where they lost in split sets to Wapato 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-2).
Singles: Abbey Archer (Sel) d. Brynn Nieuwenhuis 6-3, 6-4. Randy Hodges (Q) bye. Tim Miller (Eburg) 6-2, 6-1. Alfonso Granadas (GV) d. Luis Ferreya by forfeit.
Doubles: Natalie Thomsen/Rachel Faw (Q) d. Overton/Kelleher (EBurg) 7-5, 3-6, 6-2; Thomsen/Faw d. Anderson/Walker (Oth) 6-2, 2-6, 6-3; Botello/Rickert (Wap) d. Thomsen/Faw 6-3, 6-4; Thomsen/Faw d. Gudino/Huylar (Top) 6-2, 6-4; Moore/Brekus (Eph) d. Thomsen/Faw 6-1, 6-2. Faulkner/Harris (EV) d. Gabby Spindola/Nayely Hernandez 6-1, 6-3. Villarreal/Murillo (Oth) d. Mariana Ramirez/Anahi Sanchez 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5). Julio Plascencia/Hamilton Hyer (Q) d. Watkins/Tucker (Sel) 6-4, 6-7 (6-8), 6-2); Monson/Sears (Eph) d. Plascencia/Hyer 6-1, 6-0. Paynter/Pugh (Eph) d. Gates Petersen/Gonzo Guerrero 7-6 (7-2), 3-6, 6-4).
~Kurtis J. Woodfirstname.lastname@example.org