An exciting day of tennis between two Blaine County high school powerhouses came down to a mixed doubles potboiler late Tuesday evening at Sun Valley Tennis Club.
"Great tennis, great rivalry, great sportsmanship, great spectating," was how Community School tennis coach Phil Huss summed it up.
Dividing singles down the middle, Wood River and The Community School of Sun Valley deadlocked 6-6 for the second time this spring because of a mixed doubles finale that was truly one for the books.
Wood River's #1 Cory Rutkowski and Whitney DeBree outlasted Cutthroats players Max Sabel and Jessie Curran 5-7, 7-6, 7-5. Sabel, a freshman, is considered one of the best prospects to come out of the valley and Curran more than held her own, but Rutkowski and DeBree stood their ground.
Huss said, "The third set came down to 5-5 with Cory serving. There were six deuce points and three break points but TCS could not find the right shot selection to break Wood River. Wood River went on to break Jessie and win 7-5. It was the highlight of the night."
Coach Vicki Johnston calls juniors Rutkowski and DeBree "The Dynamic Duo." She added, "They could not have had a closer match."
In #2 mixed, Dixon Mooseau-Lauren Rust of Wood River rallied from a 5-2 deficit in the second to sweep Connor Brown-McKenzie Hart 7-6, 7-5 and secure the tie for Johnston's 4A Wolverines.
Johnston, proud of Wood River's effort and desire, said, "I was very pleased considering Community had all their top players. It was a great meet to get the kids fired up for district next week in Pocatello."
Community School boys' singles winners were Scooter Sabel, Peter Atkinson and Travis Stone. Wood River swept girls' singles with Hadley DeBree, Anna Chrysikopoulos and Tanya Greenwood.
The Cutthroats had their way in boys' doubles, while the teams split girls' doubles.
Winners in Tuesday's JV matches, all from the Community School, were John Martin-Mac Whittington, Chet Stephens-Cody Edison, Emmy O'Reilly-Devyn Parnes, and Sarah Jane Slater in singles.
Wednesday, Wood River's junior varsity competed in most of the matches during a 12-2 home win over Gooding.
Wolverine singles winners were Alex Henning, Scott Carlson, Tanya Greenwood, Alex Mallea and Cami Doan. Doubles victors were Chris Chapman-Hans Howard, Ben Leopold-David Sibrian, Allison Rust-Tessa Barrow, Jason Barbee-Laura Speck, and Will Drier-Koby Sliwicki.
Wood River (10-3-4, 5-0 league) played at Minico Thursday and goes to its state-qualifying Great Basin Conference tournament next Wednesday and Thursday at Pocatello High School. They'll take the top four in each class to state at the conclusion of the seven-school meet at Pocatello.
The Community School hosts Minico today, Friday, then entertains Twin Falls and Caldwell Saturday at 12 noon at Sun Valley Tennis Club. The Cutthroats will host the Fourth District 3A tournament with Gooding and Sugar-Salem Saturday, May 13 at Sun Valley Tennis Club. The top five in each class advance to state.
WR 6, CommSchool 6
May 2 at Sun Valley Tennis Club
Boys' singles: #1 Scooter Sabel (CS) 6-0, 6-0 over Phillip Neeley (WR); #2 Peter Atkinson (CS) 6-1, 6-0 over Connor Fairman (WR); #3 Travis Stone (CS) 6-1, 6-2 over Alex Henning (WR).
Girls' singles: #1 Hadley DeBree (WR) 6-0, 6-3 over Cody Curran (CS); #2 Anna Chrysikopoulos (WR) 6-0, 6-0 over Courtney Hamilton (CS); #3 Tanya Greenwood (WR) 6-3, 6-0 over Guin Frehling (CS).
Boys' doubles: #1 Wes Flanigan-Christian Cairncross (CS) 6-1, 6-2 over Bryce Newcomb-Casey Lane (WR); #2 Tyler Chandler-McClain Porter (CS) 6-0, 6-1 over Chris Chapman-Hans Howard (WR).
Girls' doubles: #1 Mandy Alexander-Devon Bunce (CS) 6-3, 6-3 over Kira Gardner-Abby Fairman (WR); #2 Kami Doan-Ashley Prior (WR) 6-3, 6-3 over Grayson Palmer-Emily Eshman (CS).
Mixed doubles: #1 Cory Rutkowski-Whitney DeBree (WR) 5-7, 7-6, 7-5 over Max Sabel-Jessie Curran (CS); #2 Dixon Mooseau-Lauren Rust (WR) 7-6, 7-5 over Connor Brown-McKenzie Hart (CS).