Cheney boys’ tennis team saw some positive results in its districts’ play at Pullman last Friday.
While the results don’t display the type of play quality shown by players, head coach Jesse Erickson said the effort was phenomenal.
“The guys played the best they have all season,” he said. ”The results just weren’t quite what we were hoping for.”
Cheney finished in fourth place at districts, mirroring their fouth place overall finish in the Great Northern League with a 7-7 record.
Among the successes this season, senior Nathaniel Brewster culminated a season by being selected to the All League team, positions for which are voted by the coaches.
“He just improved a lot from the get-go,” Erickson said. “He worked really hard from the start and did some work over the summer.”
Brewster came in as the top player in junior varsity last year, and worked his way to the top of the team.
“It just shows you the hard work that they put in throughout the season as well as everybody else,” Erickson said.
Cheney’sNo. 5 doubles team seed of Nicholas and Nathaniel Brewster beat Pullman in three sets for their first match 6-2, 0-6 and 6-4, but were unable to take down Clarkston in their next round, losing another three-set match 6-2, 1-6 and 4-6.
The duo were close to advancing to the next level, as both third sets were extremely close, Erickson said.
“Unfortunately, we couldn’t capitalize on the third set,” he said. “It really came down to the wire.”
Talmadge Dickson and Tristan Bennett also won their first match, defeating West Valley 6-4, 3-6 and 7-6. In their next match-up, however, they lost to eventual finalists from Clarkston 0-6, 1-6. Dickson and Bennett spent three hours in the Palouse heat, fighting a fierce match that proved to be the toughest competition they’ve seen this year.
“It was definitely the best game they’ve played all season together,” Erickson said. “They gave it their all.”
For Erickson, the season was a strong success, considering the young team starting the year.
“Everybody thought overall this was going to be a rebuilding year, considering what we lost as far as graduating seniors last year,” he said. “I’m really proud with the way everybody played. It was a really special season where our seniors really stepped up.”
The team worked hard throughout the last few months, taking on Saturday practices and working all throughout spring break, taking advantage of any time they had on the court. Erickson said the work ethic for this year’s team was exceptional, and was proof positive that hard work pays off.
“I’m really proud of the way the season went and the effort our guys put in,” he said. “It’s just awesome. It was a special season.”
James Eik can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.