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District tennis follow: Tournament displays strength of 5A District 5-6

Hillcrest head tennis coach Heath Hartman had much to be optimistic about with this year’s 5A District 5-6 championships.

For the first time in five years, a team not named Highland or Idaho Falls is the 5A District 5-6 girls tennis champion. The Knights claimed the girls title this year over two-time defending district champion Highland and will send two singles players and two doubles teams to this week’s 5A state tournament.

“We have a great girls team this year,” Hartman said Saturday by phone. “They worked hard this last year and it really paid off for them.”

Claiming the girls doubles title with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Brooke and Brielle Hammond of Madison was the Hillcrest duo of Taelor Anderson and Olivia Warner.

“They’ve had a pretty good year,” Hartman said. “They played their best tennis in districts.”

Singles players Grace Ence, who took district runner-up, and Marie Phelan as well as the doubles team of Nicole Griggs and Emily Biddulph will join Anderson and Warner at state.

On the boys side, Hillcrest qualified one boys singles player and one boys doubles team for state. Junior Kyler Hartman repeated as boys singles champion with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Madison’s Tim Jack and the doubles team of Brock Taylor and Jacob Foster placed fourth.

“He only lost one game the whole district tournament,” coach Hartman said of Kyler. “He’s a pretty high state contender this year.”

Coach Hartman, who is Kyler’s father, said Kyler’s younger brother Tegan was unable to finish competing in districts due to a back injury. Tegan is a freshman boys single player.

“He was going to some physical therapy and just wasn’t able to heal up in time,” Coach Hartman said. “It was pretty upsetting for him.”

Madison, which won its third consecutive boys district title and placed fourth in the girls standings, sends two boys singles players, one boys doubles team, one girls doubles team and one mixed doubles team to state. Jack and the girls doubles team of Brooke and Brielle Hammond led the Bobcats at districts with second place finishes.

Bonneville qualified one boys singles player, one girls singles player, one boys doubles team, one girls doubles team and one mixed doubles team for state. The Bees, who placed fourth in the girls standings and third in the boys standings, were by led by second place finishes from the boys doubles team of Chris Harker and Kade Belnap and mixed doubles team of Nate Clements and Maunayia Harrigfeld. Harker and Belnap fell to Highland’s Marcus Wood and Marcus Harmon 6-3, 7-5 while Clements and Harrigfeld fell 6-1, 6-4 to Highland’s Carter Fellows and Sabrina Wathne.

Rigby, which placed fifth in both team standings, qualified the mixed doubles team of Brian Oswald/Marissa Neville for state.

“I’m super proud of our district,” coach Hartman said. “Overall, the district is very competitive. They all played great. Now, we’ll just hope to continue at state.”

The 5A state tournament takes place Friday and Saturday at the Boise Racquet Club, Bishop Kelly High School and Borah High School.

5A District 5-6 championships

Boys team standings: 1. Madison, 2. Highland, 3. Hillcrest, 4. Bonneville, 5. Rigby

Girls team standings: 1. Hillcrest, 2. Highland, 3. Bonneville, 4. Madison, 5. Rigby

Final team scores were unavailable.

State qualifiers:

Boys singles

Championship: Kyler Hartman (HILL) def. Tim Jack (MAD) 6-0, 6-0

Consolation: Luke Richards (MAD) def. Kyle Johnson (BONN) 6-2, 6-0

Girls singles

Championship: Chloe Stoddard (HIGH) def. Grace Ence (HILL) 6-0, 6-1

Consolation: Sage Leishman (BONN) def. Marie Phelan (HILL) 7-5, 3-0 (retired)

Boys doubles

Championship: Marcus Harmon/Marcus Wood (HIGH) def. Chris Harker/Kade Belnap (BONN) 6-3, 7-5

Consolation: Andreasen/Pigott (MAD) def. Brock Taylor/Jacob Foster (HILL) 6-0, 7-6

Girls doubles

Championship: Taelor Anderson/Olivia Warner (HILL) def. Brielle Hammond/Brooke Hammond (MAD) 6-4, 6-1

Consolation: Nicole Griggs/Emily Biddulph (HILL) def. Hannah Harker/Alexis McMurtrey (BONN) 6-1, 7-6

Mixed doubles

Championship: Carter Fellows/Sabrina Wathne (HIGH) def. Nate Clements/Maunayia Harrigfeld (BONN), 6-1, 6-4

Consolation: Hinck/Lundin (MAD) def. Brian Oswald/Marissa Neville (RIG) 6-0, 6-2

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