YAKIMA — The Huskies took four singles players and six doubles teams to the District 5/6 Tournament at East Valley High School Saturday, and after the first three rounds less than half of the Othello entrants are still volleying for a berth to regionals. The competition resumed Tuesday, May 15 but the results were not available at press time.
No. 4 seeded Julissa Cantu opened tournament play with a first round bye. She got past Grandview’s Alexa Rodriguez 6-4, 6-2 in Round 2, and then matched up with a tougher opponent in Laila Hatebur, Ellensburg’s top gun in Round 3. It took her three sets to do, but she beat the Bulldogs No.1 seed, 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 to move into a semifinal game with Mary-Frances Ballew, the district’s No. 1 seed from Selah.
Amayeli Diaz got out of the gate with a three set 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over Margarita Aguilera from Toppenish, but fell to No. 3 seeded Karina Acosta from Prosser in Round 2 and was eliminated from postseason play.
The district’s No.2 seeded pair of Macy Hampton and Daishawn Roylance received a first round bye, but was tested by Guadalupe Ramos and Carolina Irebe from Toppenish in Round 2 and escaped with a close 6-3, 6-4 win. Hampton and Roylance found the going much easier in a third round match with Ephrata’s Hannah Goodspeed and Roslyn Martin, taking the contest 6-1, 6-1. The wins advanced the Lady Huskies to a semifinal game with the No. 3 seeded doubles team of Ashley Higdon and Anna Winter from Ellensburg.
Othello’s second doubles Janiese Alvarez and Alyssa Freeman got off to a rough start dropping the first set 3-6, but took the next two from Sarah Porter and Jayme Graham from Grandview 6-2, 6-1. Alvarez and Freeman beat Aubrey Higdon and Heather Hickman from Ellensburg 6-3, 6-4, in Round 2, but lost their third round match to No. 1 seeded Kalli Willet and Allison Manion from East Valley 6-4, 6-1 and was bounced down to the consolation bracket to match up with Ephrata’s Taylor Perez and Chloe Davis.
Third doubles Janae Freeman and Jenny Walker dropped their opening round match to Dani Ronish and Daisy Ramirez from Quincy 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 and was knocked out of district play.
“I was super excited for my No. 2 doubles Janiese Alvarez and Alyssa Freeman. They drew East Valle’s No. 1 seed in Round 3. I told them they could hang with those girls and they were up 4-2 and one point from 5-2 in the first set,” Huskies coach Robert Pruneda said. “They eventually lost in two sets, but I was very impressed with their performance. Daishawn and Macy were solid and played well as always.”
The Huskies top singles player and the District 5/6 No. 2 seed Kyler Villarreal opened with a first round bye. He breezed past second round opponent Jesus Barragan from Toppenish 6-2, 6-0, and then got past Grandview’s Devin Amaro 7-6, 5-1 to move into a semifinal match up with No. 3 seeded Louis Merred from Quincy.
Othello’s No. 2 singles Abraham Alvarez also had a first round bye, but fell to Ellensburg’s Andrew Hull 6-0, 6-0 in Round 2 and was eliminated from the competition.
Three doubles teams took the courts in Round 1, but only one set of Huskies moved on. Othello’s top doubles team of Levi Garza and Josh Valdez and the district’s No. 4 seeded pair blew past Ellensburg’s Trevor Carlton and Coulter Winter 6-0, 6-2. They gave up just one point in a 6-1, 6-0 win over Diego Ruiz and Matthew Perez from Toppenish in Round 2, and then beat Wapato’s Ben Erickson and Naujae Pineda 6-1, 6-4 in a quarterfinal contest. Garza and Valdez advanced to a semifinal match with the district’s No. 1 seeded doubles team of Tristan McDevitt and Zak Donato from Selah.
The Huskies No. 2 doubles Danny Faustino and Erick Mendoza were bounced out of tournament play with a three set 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 loss to Prosser’s Lisandro Santillan and Jose Montano.
Third doubles Axel Rivera and Saul Mendoza dropped their opening match 6-0, 6-0 to Parker Reynolds and Eliab Garza from Toppenish and were forced to watch the rest of the action from the stands.