Gillette tennis teams swing into state tournament beginning today

The Campbell County High School tennis team will complete another solid season at home this week at the 4A state tournament. (Photo courtesy of Kellie Jo Allison Photography)

The Campbell County and Thunder Basin high school tennis teams will serve up one final tournament of matches. Those just happen to be the biggest ones of the year as the 4A state championships are on the line beginning today.

As an added bonus, Gillette is hosting this year’s state championship tournament at Bicentennial Park, CCHS, TBHS and the recreation center courts. The first rounds are all day today, more rounds all of Friday before wrapping up Saturday with all the finals.

The two schools to watch are Kelly Walsh boys and Cheyenne Central girls who are the defending state champions from a year ago.

The seedings for this weekend are based on all the performances at last weekend’s regional tournament in Sheridan. Here’s a recap:

Campbell County

The CCHS girls’ team had the best showing among the four local varsity teams at regionals. The Camels captured third place overall thanks to several athletes who made it to the medal round.

Campbell County’s top-seeded female at state (No. 2 seed) will be Abi Neary at No. 2 singles for the girls. She won her first two matches in straight sets to reach the regional championship where she was edged 6-3, 6-3 by Gabriella Blumberg of Kelly Walsh.

In No. 1 singles, Alexa Richert took home third place at the regional tournament where she won the consolation bracket. After being stunned in the semifinals, she stormed back with two wins including a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 thriller over Sydni Bilyeu of Sheridan to take third place.

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In doubles play, the No. 1 team of Mari Bouzis and Payton Whitt rallied after a first-round setback. They won their next two matches over Natrona County and Cody to reach the consolation championship where they finished fourth overall.

The No. 2 tandem of Maddie Edwards and Bayley Gray and No. 3 duo of Lexi Alexander and Samantha Torres came up short in their two matches but get a chance at a start fresh at state.

On the boys’ side, Campbell County was fourth as a team at regionals. The top two seeds going into the state tournament today are the top two doubles teams.

The No. 1 doubles twosome of Tully Allison and Marcus Sarvey took down Thunder Basin and Cody in the first two rounds to reach the championship. They brought home second place after a 6-0, 6-2 fall to Kelly Walsh’s top team.

In No. 2 doubles action, Kyle Barton and Rylan Robertson represented CCHS and made the most of it with a couple of thrilling three-set victories over Natrona County and Sheridan to also reach the finals. They were edged in another good match 6-4, 6-3 to Kelly Walsh.

Hayden Lemm and EJ Hallcroft were the No. 3 doubles team for the Camels at regonials. They chalked up a win against Natrona County before a couple close defeats to wrap up the weekend.

Thunder Basin

The Bolts had a more challenging weekend at regionals and will face some tougher seeds today at the state tournament. The girls team took sixth and the boys were seventh after three days of play.

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For the boys, TBHS No. 2 singles payer Josh Klaassen was edged in the first round and won by default over his foe from Natrona County. He came close to reaching the consolation finals but came up short in an excited 7-5, 7-5 set against Luke Lawson of Sheridan.

Austin Youngs and Payton Marty also picked up a win for the Bolts. After a first round loss, the No. 3 team won by default over Natrona County and later fell short against Jackson.

In other regional action, Luke Lass played at No. 1 singles, Hayden Chambers and Tate Moore faced off as the No. 1 teams while Owen Gorsuch and Connor represented Thunder Basin in No. 2 doubles.

For the TBHS girls, they had two consolation champions. As a result, they each earn a No. 3 seed at the state finals.

The No. 2 duo of Brooke Kendrick and Brianna Ketchum hit a bump in the road in the semifinals. However, they bounced back with two more wins and beat Jackson convincingly 6-2, 6-2 to win the consolation title.

Speaking of consolation title, the No. 3 twosome of Katie Bruse and Tierra Tachick earned the same honors in their bracket. They also slipped in the semifinals but found their groove again to beat Cody and went on to defeat Sheridan 6-3, 6-3 in the third-place match.

Also at regionals, Sarah Rasse competed as the No. 1 singles and Ali Morgan represented the Bolts in No. 2 singles.

The No. 1 doubles team also found victory at regionals. After an early setback, Hallie Angelos and Maggie Bruse stormed back with a solid 6-1, 6-1 win over Powell. They came close to reaching the consolation finals but were nipped in a thrilling 7-6, 4-6, 6-4 marathon against Sheridan.