Cheney High School seniors Ryan and Katelynn Smedley finished their season — and high school tennis careers — at the 2A state tennis championships in Seattle, May 30.
Ryan Smedley, in his first trip to state, lost a first-round match to Suncrest’s Nishaant Limaye (6-1, 6-0). Boy’s head coach Jesse Erickson said Limaye got Ryan Smedley on the defensive early and controlled the match.
“Ryan was playing well, but when you get to state, it’s a whole new competition,” Erickson said.
Ryan Smedley was eliminated from the tournament after his loss to Mark Morris’ Riku Kusakabe (6-4, 6-4). Erickson said Ryan Smedley was more aggressive and utilized good drop shots but could not “close it out.”
“Although he didn’t win, Ryan was happy with his performance,” Erickson said. “He ended his season on a high note. I was proud of him.”
Katelynn Smedley, in her second state tournament appearance, lost her first-round match to North Kitsap’s Dayna Wallis (6-0, 6-2), then defeated Mark Morris’ Jamie Isaacson of Longview (6-3, 6-2). She was eliminated after her loss to Sedro-Woolley’s Kassidee Beuse (6-1, 6-4).
The boy’s tennis team is coming off their strongest season in years, with a 7-1 Great Northern League record, 12-2 overall and a regular season championship. Although the team loses top players such as Ryan Smedley, Britton Williams and JT Gould to graduation, Erickson said there are many juniors returning next season.
“With (Ryan) Axtell leading the way, we should have a good chance of repeating as league champions, especially if Clarkston and Pullman lose many of their key players,” Erickson said.
The girls team ended their regular season with a 6-2 GNL record, 10-4 overall and a second-place finish in the league. They lose seven seniors to graduation: Katelynn Smedley, Grace Pohl, Kaitlyn Sweeney, Leanna Eik, Rachel Hansen, Sarah Fillmore and Linsay Sweitzer.