Sunday, February 25, 2024

Manson High School Tennis


Editor's note: This story was written before eight Manson High School Tennis team participated at the State Tourney held May 26 and 27 in Yakima. Results of state were not available by press time.

Bound for State
The Manson boys’ and girls’ tennis teams keep rolling. After both teams secured the Central Washington B (CWB) regular season titles, they both went on to win the league tournaments. After the league tournament, the boys team went on to win the district title which combines the 1B/2B and 1A schools in the region. The Manson tennis team doubled the score of the nearest competitor, Omak. The most impressive part is that the district boys’ singles title was between two Manson players: Ben Cullison and Rex Torgesen. After all the league and district tournaments, the Manson Tennis Team is proud to send eight players to state.
 “I’m very thrilled to have so many players heading to state this year. This was a culmination of a group of Seniors that started the tennis program four years ago. This is actually only the second year of postseason play and we are building off of the four participants we sent last year for a total of eight this year. The credit goes to all these players who love playing tennis and keep putting in the time to get better,” Coach Joey Johanson.

Road to State
Boys Singles- Ben Cullison cruised through the competition in both the league and district tournaments. He did not drop a set in either tournament. In the first round of districts, he beat JJ Groner of Cashmere 6-1, 7-5 followed by a semi-final win over Chelan’s Rylen Moody 6-4, 6-3. He capped off the championship with a win over his teammate Rex Torgesen by a score of 6-4, 6-0.
“Ben’s game has really elevated this year. He has a great first and second serve that are making a huge difference,” Coach Johanson.
Rex Torgesen will also be joining his teammate at State in Yakima. He defeated his quarterfinal opponent, Cray Silva of Chelan 6-1, 6-4 and then defeated Owen Painter of Okanogan 6-2, 7-5 before falling to his teammate in the championship.

Boys Doubles - Manson will be sending the young duo of Cavan Willard and Ben Rasmusson to State after they finished fourth in the district tournament. They had their challenges in the tournament, but survived. They won their first round match vs. Chelan 6-1, 6-3. The next match they stumbled against the eventual district champs of Omak. Then the most brutal match of the tournament was when they had to knock their own teammates out of the tournament in two tiebreaker sets 7-6, 7-6, not to mention Cavan’s older brother Eli Willard. That win, however difficult it was, secured their spot to state. In the 3rd/4th place match they fell to Quincy in three sets.

Girls Doubles - Manson will also be sending four girls to state in the form of two doubles teams. The #1 doubles team of Afton Torgesen and Kayden Koth won the 1B/2B district championship against a tough Pateros team in three sets. Other than the championship match, Afton and Kayden had not dropped a set all tournament. They first defeated a Tonasket doubles team 6-4, 6-4 and then defeated the #1 Tonasket doubles team 6-4, 6-1. The other Manson doubles team that will be making the trip to State is Natalee Reyna and Genesis Torres. They had the hard road to state after losing in the quarterfinals to the runner-up Pateros team 1-6, 4-6. After that loss, the girls battled through three straight matches to finish 3rd in the district and secure the last state spot. They beat Okanogan’s #1 doubles team 6-2, 6-2 then they beat Tonasket’s #1 doubles team 6-2, 6-3 and then finally knocking off the other Tonasket doubles team 6-4, 6-1.
“Both our girls doubles teams are playing so well right now because they get to hit with each other in practice. This elevates both their games and will make them competitive at the state level,” Coach Johanson.

First matches at State:
Ben Cullison vs. Herky Briggs of Life Christian Academy
Rex Torgesen vs. Kyle Dillingham of Lakeside (9 Mile Falls)
Ben Rasmusson/Cavan Willard vs. Saint George
Kayden Koth/Afton Torgesen vs. Cle Elum
Natalee Reyna/Genesis Torres vs. Chewelah


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