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Eagle Boys Tennis wins national title

Eagle Boys Tennis wins national title

 



SOAP LAKE In just its fourth season since returning to the court, the Soap Lake boys tennis team came out on top at last week's Central Washington B League tournament, headlined by Xavier Gonzales-Robinson reaching the singles finals and Francisco Ortega and Logan Northup who made it to doubles. finals.

We started it four years ago; “I know they had tennis a while ago, but they haven't had tennis here in a long time,” Soap Lake head coach Lee Leavell said. To go from basically teaching kids the absolute basics of tennis to now having three kids take second place and then take home a league championship, that's pretty special.

Soap Lake scored 18 points during the league tournament, finishing just ahead of Entiat and Manson, who finished in second place with 17 points. The further a player or a doubles team progresses in the tournament, the more the points increase, Leavell said.

The league tournament combined both 1B and 2B tennis teams from District 6, with the top four teams from each category advancing to this week's district tournament.

The first two rounds of the tournament were played on May 8 and the later rounds were played on Saturday at the Harmony Meadows Tennis Center in Manson.

Because we made it this far with two teams, we were able to get more points than the other teams, Leavell said. In the end we only won by one point, which is quite crazy.

Leavell credited the players' preparation time not only during team practices but also outside of team activities for their ability to win the league title.

Those kids play all the time in the summer, after practice is done, before practice starts. All that time they put in, I think, has really paid off, Leavell said. There wasn't necessarily a game plan or strategy, but there was the prep work that went into it.

All three finalists of the league tournament are sophomores and have even higher goals in the coming years.

In both groups, we had kids on our team go extremely deep, which is really cool to see, Leavell said. And I can't stress this enough: they are sophomores. That's another really cool element: they have so much more room for growth and they've come so far.

Leavell also credited assistant coach Clarissa Larsen for helping the team this season; this is Larsen's first season with the Eagles.

My new assistant coach this year has been an important figure in helping these kids get to where they are this year, Leavell wrote in a message to the Columbia Basin Herald. Her work has been a great help.

District competition combines the Central Washington B leagues with the Caribou Trail League, with the top four in each category advancing to the 1A/2B/B State Tournament in Yakima. The district tournament started Tuesday afternoon at Lake Chelan Shores Resort and continues Thursday.

After showing success at the league tournament, the Eagles have their sights set on making state.

“I hope they go into the district tournament feeling proud of what they've accomplished, but not satisfied with what they've accomplished,” Leavell said. That was the message of (Monday training); pat yourself on the back, be happy, but the jobs aren't done yet. We set a goal to achieve state this year, so we have one more tournament in the way.

Ian Bivona can be reached at [email protected].

Soap Lake assistant coach Clarissa Larsen, left, sophomore Francisco Ortega, sophomore Xavier Gonzales-Robinson and Head Coach Lee Leavell pose with the trophy after winning the Central Washington B League tournament on Saturday.

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