Roseburg sweeps SWC district team titles
The Roseburg High tennis teams each produced positive results as the Southwest Conference district tournament concluded on Saturday at the sun-baked Umpqua Valley Tennis Center.
The Roseburg girls, with Samantha Eichman and Jayda Pieske capturing the doubles crown, won their two-day tournament with 44.5 points — five better than runner-up Sheldon.
The Roseburg boys, led by Ethan Smith’s singles title, finished first with 36 points. Grants Pass was second (29.5).
In all, the RHS girls qualified six (two in singles and two doubles teams) for the Class 6A state tournament and the boys advanced five (one in singles, two doubles).
Coaches Jeremy Root and Warren Bowden were both pleased with how their teams performed.
Samantha Eichman and Pieske, the No. 1 seed, defeated second-seeded Peyton Ritchie and Alexis Aronson of Sheldon 6-1, 6-3 in the girls doubles championship match.
Samantha Eichman is a junior and Pieske a sophomore.
“I think we have really good chemistry and we’re friends outside of tennis, too,” Pieske said. “We’ve played them (Ritchie and Aronson) two or three times before. They’re both really good players and we enjoy playing them a lot. We had a really good first set, but started out slow in the second set.
“The warm weather definitely is not fun. We try not to let it bother us too much.”
The top-seeded Smith, a senior, won his first district singles title over second-seeded Brooks Lerfald of Sheldon.
Smith, a left-hander, dropped the first set 6-3, but rebounded to take the second 6-4. Smith was ahead 4-1 in the deciding set when Lerfald, a freshman, was forced to retire from the match due to cramping and an ankle problem.
Smith himself had to deal with some cramps following the match.
“I feel great about winning the district championship,” Smith said. “I would’ve liked to win it fair and square without default, but things happen and I’m just glad I pulled it out.
“The first set I just played really cautiously — like I didn’t want to lose. I told myself this is my last year, so I might as well play to win. That’s what changed in the second and third set. For the most part, I felt like I played pretty well in the tournament.”
In girls singles, Sheldon senior Lauren Kreutzer downed sophomore Mackenzie Eichman of Roseburg 6-3, 7-5 in the final in a matchup of the top two seeds.
“I had some great competition. I feel like she played really well,” Mackenzie Eichman said. “There were some really tough conditions ... it’s pretty windy and really sunny. The wind makes it a lot tougher to set it for shots. The ball keeps moving and doesn’t really sit.
“I played pretty well, but definitely have some things to work on before state.”
Roseburg’s second-seeded boys doubles team of senior Michael Bober and junior Robbie Clarke lost 6-1, 6-4 to top-seeded Jaxson Schatza and Nicholas Rist of Grants Pass in the title match.
“They played really well,” Bober said. “We thought we were ready for them, but they came out on fire in the first set. It took us a while to handle it, but I felt we responded well in the second set down 2-5. We fought back, but it wasn’t quite enough.
“We still get to play next week,” Bober added. “We won a district title (as a team) and that’s what we’ve been working for all season. Second place gets us to state and that’s what our goal was, so I’m happy with that.”
Also representing the Indians at state are junior Jimmy Laws and freshman Brian Powell in boys doubles (fourth place), junior Stef Early in girls singles (third) and senior Ally Sandfort and sophomore Lauren Sandfort in girls doubles (third).
The Sandfort sisters were involved in the last match of the afternoon, pulling out the win in three sets. They headed north shortly afterwards to get ready for the state golf tournament on Monday and Tuesday at Quail Valley in Banks.
Justin Leavens of Roseburg won the boys singles consolation title.
TEAM SCORES — Roseburg 36, Grants Pass 29.5, Sheldon 28.5, South Eugene 28, South Medford 20, North Medford 0.
Semifinals — Ethan Smith, R, def. Anthony Maravilla, GP, 6-0, 6-3; Brooks Lerfald, Sh, def. Aria Movassaghi, SE, 6-3, 6-2. Final — Smith def. Lerfald, 3-6, 6-4, 4-1 (retired).
Third Place — Maravilla def. Movassaghi, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Consolation — Justin Leavens, R, def. Charlie Sneed, SE, 6-0, 6-1.
Semifinals — Jaxson Schatza-Nicholas Rist, GP, def. Andy Vestal-Alex Song, Sh, 6-0, 6-3; Michael Bober-Robbie Clarke, R, def. Jimmy Laws-Brian Powell, R, 6-1, 2-6, 6-3.
Final — Schatza-Rist, GP, def. Bober-Clarke, R, 6-1, 6-4.
Third Place — Vestal-Song, Sh, def. Laws-Powell, R, 6-4, 7-6.
TEAM SCORES — Roseburg 44.5, Sheldon 39.5, Grants Pass 29, South Eugene 22, South Medford 8, North Medford 3.
Semifinals — Lauren Kreutzer, Sh, def. Steffi Early, R, 6-1, 6-0; Mackenzie Eichman, R, def. Elizabeth Williams, GP, 6-4, 6-1.
Final — Kreutzer, Sh, def. Eichman, R, 6-3, 7-5.
Third Place — Early, R, def. Williams, GP, 6-3, 7-5.
Semifinals — Samantha Eichman-Jayda Pieske, R, def. Sara Campbell-Maddy Thorburn, Sh, 6-0, 6-1; Peyton Ritchie-Alexis Aronson, Sh, def. Ally Sandfort-Lauren Sandfort, R, 6-3, 6-2.
Final — Eichman-Pieske, R, def. Ritchie-Aronson, Sh, 6-1, 6-3.
Third Place — Sandfort-Sandfort, R, def. Campbell-Thorburn, Sh, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6.