Ritger, Galena doubles teams win titles
Appeal Sports Editor
Douglas High freshman Amelia Ritger is like that Major League Baseball closer who comes into the ninth inning and turns everything into an adventure, but always comes through to pick up the save.
Ritger kept things exciting, but as she’s always been able to do this year, she closed out the match, beating Galena’s Hannah Llop in the singles finals 6-1, 6-4 for the NIAA Northern 4A Championship on Saturday.
Ritger and Llop will be joined by several of their teammates at next week’s NIAA 4A State Championships. Galena’s girls doubles team of Lindy Deller and Adrain Potter pulled off a come-from-behind 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 win over Reno’s No. 1 doubles team to win the zone title.
Galena swept the doubles titles as the Grizzlies’ boys team of Collin Davis and Gavin Deller, who rolled to a 6-4, 6-1 win in the finals. Douglas High’s Robert Shawhan and Keagan Chipp earned a trip to state by beating Galena’s Joey Prescott and John Baldwin 6-3, 6-3 in the third place match. The top three finishers in singles and doubles advanced to state.
Prescott and Baldwin gave Carson’s Jordan Rogers and Brad Cobler their first loss of the year in heartbreaking fashion as Prescott and Baldwin won 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (10-8). Also for Carson, Spencer Brinson was eliminated in the singles quarterfinals when he lost to the High Desert League’s No. 2 seed from Incline 3-6, 4-6.
Carson’s James Pelz and Spencer Trapp lost in the quarterfinals to Shawhan and Chipp 0-6, 3-6. Carson’s Hannah Dudley and Elise Hansen also made a good accounting for themselves as they advanced to the quarterfinals in a 5-7, 7-5, 6-1 win in a suspended match. Dudley and Hansen then gave Reno’s No. 1 team all it could handle before falling 5-7, 1-6.
Ritger hasn’t lost a set all year. “I just wanted to make it into state,” she said. “I didn’t even care if I got first place. First place didn’t matter to me.
“It was actually just going to be a friendly match. I wasn’t that worried. Just whatever happened, happened.”
After rolling through the first set, Ritger had a problem holding her serve in the second set. But Llop couldn’t hold serve, either, as she failed to hold serve the entire set. The difference of the set came when Ritger was able to hold serve once.
Ritger, though, said the inability of both players to hold serve was because both of them know each other so well.
“We know each other, oh my gosh,” Ritger said. “It’s like we’ve known each other our entire lives.”
After Ritger was broken to fall behind 0-1 in the second set, she won three straight games to take a 3-1 lead. The two players took turns breaking each other, leaving Ritger up 5-3. She was two points away from the match, serving at 5-3, 30-0 when Llop came back to break Ritger to come within 5-4. but Ritger went on to break Llop for the match.
Ritger’s only concern going into state is her fitness. “I’m very tired right now,” Ritger said. “I’m definitely going to work out a lot more.”
Deller said the strategy for him and Davis won’t change at state. “We’re going to have to move a lot, be at the net, just play our game,” Deller said.
“We’ve just been good friends for a long time so we just work well together,” Davis said.
Down 2-4 in the third set, Deller and Potter won the last four games, breaking to pull even at 4-4 and breaking again for the match. In the third place match, South Tahoe’s Mckenzie Usher and Chela Wahl beat Galena’s Emily McLintock and Leann Roggensack 7-6 (7-3), 1-6, 6-4.
In the boys singles championship, Reno’s Jeff Mullin beat South Tahoe’s Jimmy Roberts 6-4, 6-4.