Blackhawks mixed doubles teams place in I. E. Classic tennis

Girls tennis 4

The Cheney High boys and girls tennis teams capped off a busy week with a successful outing at the Inland Empire tournament, May 1-2. JT Gould and Leanna Eik, No. 2 mixed doubles, finished second in their bracket while Katelynn and Ryan Smedley, No. 1 mixed doubles, took third in theirs. As a team, Cheney finished 13th out of 50 with 84 points. Both teams also earned wins over Northeast A League’s Deer Park, April 28, and Great Northern League rivals East Valley, April 30.

On their way to the finals, Gould and Eik defeated Pullman’s Priscilla Chiang and Charles Pezeshki (6-3, 6-3), Gonzaga Prep’s Sophie West and Graham Goebel (6-2, 6-0) Mount Spokane’s Katelyn Streltzoff and Ben Conroy (6-3, 7-5) and Ellensburg’s Jennifer Jackson/Tommy Hyatt ( (6-2, 6-3). In the championship match, they lost to Chewelah’s Tenika Smith and Chandler Kirk-Patterson (6-1, 6-3).

Katelynn and Ryan Smedley defeated Selah’s Chloe Howell and Trenton Murdock (6-2, 6-2), Chewelah’s Tia Justice and Noah Richmond (6-1, 6-1) and Gonzaga Prep’s Mallie Mikkelsen and Spencer Tombari (6-2, 6-0) before losing to Ellensburg’s Taylor Willis and Tim Miller (6-4, 6-4) in the semifinals. The Smedleys rebounded to defeat Othello’s Zoee Roylance and Collin Freeman (6-1, 6-2).

Ben Sanchez and Brandon Foster were 3-2 in their bracket while Adam Passey and Shogo Starr, and Luke Huguenin and Jordan Kawue were 1-1. In singles action, Britton Williams was 1-1 while Ryan Axtell went 0-2.

“This is the best we’ve ever done at the Inland Empire Classic,” boy’s head coach Jesse Erickson said. “I’m really proud of everyone.”

Prior to the tournament, the Cheney boys defeated Deer Park, 6-1 and East Valley, 7-0.

Ryan Smedley, No. 1 singles, was 2-0 for the week, which included a tough win over the Stags’ Niamh Lakewolf (6-3, 6-7, 7-5).

“Ryan’s strategy has improved,” Erickson said. “He’s picking his moment and waiting for his opponent before coming into the net.”

Axtell, Williams and Gould won both of their matches.

In doubles, Huguenin and Kauwe were 2-0, continuing their winning streak. Foster and Sanchez also won both of their matches.

On the girls’ side, Cheney swept Deer Park, 7-0, and defeated East Valley, 6-1.

Katelynn Smedley, Bridget Calvert and Emily Howard were 2-0 for the week while Grace Pohl was 1-1.

The girls’ doubles teams also enjoyed success. Eik won her doubles matches with different partners. At the Deer Park match, she and Sarah Fillmore defeated Natahsa Root and Kyra DeLeon (6-4, 6-1). Against East Valley match, she and Kaitlynn Sweeney defeated Emily Sior and Jessica Fraser (6-2, 6-2).

Linsay Swietzer was also 2-0 with different partners. She and Amparo Contreras defeated Deer Park’s Jael Guske and Damaris Guske (6-1, 6-2). Against East Valley, she and Shayla Payne defeated (7-6, 2-6, 6-1) in a close match.

The teams of Sweeney and Rachel Hansen, and Sadie Knutson and Alannah Lewis were 1-0 for the week.

“We did some shifting in our doubles and we’re looking ahead to districts,” Overland said. “I’m happy where we are.”

After they played Clarkston in their final home match, May 5, the Cheney boys (5-1 GNL, 11-2 overall) travel to Pullman, May 7 where they will finish their regular season against the Greyhounds.

The girls (5-1, 9-3) played the Bantams in Clarkston, May 5. They return home to play Pullman May 7 in their last regular match of the season.


About Al Stover

I graduated from Eastern Washington University with a bachelor's degree in journalism. I currently work as a Staff Reporter for the Cheney Free Press. I have interviewed characters like cage fighters, drag queens and dungeon masters. I like Batman, coffee, MMA and beer.
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