Many hours of off-season training and spring season improvement paid off with Great Basin Conference girls’ and boys’ team championships for Wood River High School’s tennis squad Wednesday at Sun Valley Tennis Club.
Wood River, an 18-point winner over Twin Falls for last year’s GBC overall crown, stretched its winning margin to 59 points over Twin Falls Wednesday and qualified 14 of its 16 players for the State 4A tourney in Boise May 18-19.
The Wolverines of coaches Chelsea Cutler, Jamie Hjort and Kim Richards (125 points) won three of the five classifications—girls’ singles, boys’ doubles and mixed doubles. They boosted their girls’ team total by 40 points over last year.
For the first time since the school’s tennis glory years of 2010-12, Wood River won both the boys’ district team championship (53.5 to 36 over Twin Falls) and the girls’ team title (71.5 to 30 over Twin Falls). Its 125 points was the most for Wood River since 140 in 2012, 134 in 2011 and 145 in 2010.
Wood River’s last state championships, both for the boys, occurred in 2010 and 2012. The Wolverines haven’t won a state girls’ team title since the Idaho High School Activities Association began awarding separate girls’ and boys’ team trophies in 2008.
The IHSAA State 4A tournament is May 18-19 based at Timberline High in Boise.
On Wednesday, juniors Jack Keating and Mario Munoz gave Wood River its third straight district boys’ doubles title after dominating the spring circuit. Junior Lily Brunelle, third last year, dropped only five games in taking the girls’ singles title.
In mixed doubles, the youthful Hailey duo of sophomore Nick Maumus and freshman Claire de Saint Phalle showed veteran poise in knocking off the defending mixed doubles district champions, seniors from Minico of Rupert, in split sets.
Wood River’s second places in boys’ doubles and girls’ doubles went to Sam Laski and Lucas Beste, along with Abbie Heaphy and Magdalena Houzvickova. And junior Grace Ayres-Doyle, unseeded, won four times to earn fourth place in girls’ singles.
Amazingly, the unseeded Wood River girls’ doubles team of junior Denali Stevens and sophomore Eva Grover won five of their six matches for third place—in the process avenging their only loss with a dramatic 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 victory.
The other state qualifiers, in fourth place for mixed, were senior Jack Stevens and junior Claire Fisher, three wins.
Showing a three-year upswing, the Wolverines won 28 of their 39 matches. Last year, Wood River went 22-14 at district, and the Wolverines were 19-15 at district tennis in 2016.
Top results from the Great Basin Conference tournament, with abbreviations Wood River (WR), Twin Falls (TF), Canyon Ridge (CR), Burley (B), Minico (M) and Jerome (J):
GBC team results
· Overall team: 1—Wood River 125 points. 2—Twin Falls 66. 3—Canyon Ridge of Twin Falls 56. 4—Burley 49. 5—Minico of Rupert 33. 6—Jerome 18.
· Boys’ team: 1—Wood River 53.5 points. 2—Twin Falls 36. 3—Canyon Ridge 35. 4—Burley 19. 5—Minico 18.5. 6—Jerome 10.5.
· Girls’ team: 1—Wood River 71.5 points. 2—Twin Falls 30. 3—Burley 30. 4—Canyon Ridge 21. 5—Minico 14.5. 6—Jerome 7.5.
· State 4A tournament qualifiers (32): Wood River 14, Burley 6, Twin Falls 5, Canyon Ridge 4, Minico 3.
GBC event results
· Boys’ singles—First place: Scott Ward (TF senior) 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (2) over Duncan Roberts (CR sophomore).
Third place: Tyler Gerratt (B senior) 6-3, 6-1 over Colby Wilkins (M senior).
· Girls’ singles—First place: Lily Brunelle (WR junior) 6-0, 6-4 over Bethany Romney (CR senior).
Third place: Sydney Pilling (B senior) 6-2, 6-4 over Grace Ayres-Doyle (WR junior).
· Boys’ doubles—First place: Jack Keating-Mario Munoz (WR juniors) 6-3, 6-1 over Sam Laski-Lucas Beste (WR sophomore-junior).
Third place: Tyler Bowman-Brandon Mix (TF juniors) 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-3 over Barrett Humble-Zach Nedbalek (CR senior-sophomore).
· Girls’ doubles—First place: Camille Cox-Paige Fullmer (TF sophomores) 6-3, 6-4 over Abbie Heaphy-Magdalena Houzvickova (WR juniors).
Third place: Denali Stevens-Eva Grover (WR junior-sophomore) 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 over Hadley Beck-McKenna Yek (B seniors).
· Mixed doubles—First place: Nick Maumus-Claire de Saint Phalle (WR sophomore-freshman) 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 over Koy Chandler-Hope Robbins (M seniors).
Third place: Jacob Graham-Maddie Landrum (B junior-senior) 6-3, 6-4 over Jack Stevens-Claire Fisher (WR senior-junior).