TenBroek, Ritger lead Tigers tennis at Northern 4A Regional Championships | NevadaAppeal.com
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TenBroek, Ritger lead Tigers tennis at Northern 4A Regional Championships

By Charles Whisnand

Nevada Appeal Sports Editor

In different ways, both James TenBroeck and Amelia Ritger, of Douglas High School, met the challenge at the Northern 4A Regional Tennis Championships on Saturday at Carson High School.

Both advanced to next week’s NIAA 4A State Championships to be held in Carson. Ritger won her second straight zone championship in girls singles, but it was tougher than expected as she actually had to come back in the second set to beat good friend Hannah Llop of Galena 6-3, 7-5.

TenBroeck beat Carson’s Spencer Brinson 6-2, 6-4 in the boys singles third-place match to also make it to state. The top three in singles and doubles advanced to state.

Ritger remained unbeaten in Northern Nevada competition for her career, but it wasn’t easy against Llop. The finals was a rematch of last year’s zone title match. And after losing only two games through her first four matches at zone, Ritger was finally challenged in the second set against Llop.

Llop broke Ritger’s serve with an overhead crosscourt volley to take a 4-2 lead in the second set. But turnabout was fair play as Ritger broke Llop’s serve with an overhead crosscourt volley to come to within 4-3. The two then held serve as Llop was ahead 5-4 before Ritger won the last three games to take the match.

Ritger said the tough second set should help her for state. “It gave me a lot more practice,” Ritger said. “It was definitely my hardest match.”

Llop and Ritger have also played plenty of tennis together as doubles partners.

“We’re really close,” Ritger said. “It was a fun match. We just had a lot of fun with it. I think I may have had a little too much fun in the second set.”

TenBroeck gave an indication of what was to come against Brinson when he gave Northern Nevada’s best player, Reno High’s Jeff Mullin, all he could handle in the semifinals.

TenBroeck actually took a 1-0 lead to begin the match, but it was in the second set when TenBroeck made things really interesting. TenBroeck was actually two points away from breaking Mullin at 0-30 and taking a 5-4 lead before Mullin came back to hold serve.

But down 0-30 and two points from losing the match, TenBroeck came back to hold serve to tie the set 5-5 before falling 2-6, 5-7. Mullin went on to beat Manogue’s Phillip Hinojasa 6-2, 6-1 to win the title.

TenBroeck said his showing against Mullin boosted his confidence going into the match with Brinson.

“It did a little bit,” TenBroeck said.

Against Brinson, the difference of the match was TenBroeck’s ability to win the deuce games. He won the first four deuce games, including three in the first set, which he won 6-2.

Down 1-4 in the second set, Brinson changed his strategy to bring TenBroeck into the net more and it almost worked. Brinson finally broke through on a deuce game, saving a game point and eventually breaking TenBroeck to get back on serve at 3-4.

Both held serve to give TenBroeck a 5-4 lead before TenBroeck broke Brinson with an overhead smash on match point.

“It feels really good,” said TenBroeck about going to state. “I’m just really happy.”

“You can see Brinson coming in and he almost did pull the second set out,” Carson coach Kevin Fallon said. “I was really pulling for him. I really wanted to see him go to state.”

In the semifinals, Hinojosa raced out to a 6-1 win in the first set against Brinson before Brinson broke Hinojosa’s serve to begin the second set on his way to taking a 2-0 lead. But Hinojosa regained control to win the match 6-1, 6-3.

“Two guys that were on top of their games,” said Fallon about Brinson’s opponents, TenBroeck and Hinojosa. “Spencer played well. He ran into two players that were at their best.”

Galena’s two girls doubles teams advanced to state as Lindy Deller and Addie Potter won the title, winning in the finals 6-3, 6-3 and Emily McClintock and Leann Roggensack won the third place match, 6-4, 6-2.

Galena’s boys doubles team failed to make state as they lost in the third-place match to Reno’s Kevin Nomura and Austin Rudd 6-1, 5-6, 4-6. Haley Llop also failed to advance to state for Galena as she lost in the third-place match to Reno’s Shelly Tone 2-6, 5-7.