Tennis: Auburn district athletes compete in postseason

The tennis regular season ended for the NPSL on Oct. 11. Once the regular season ends, the team competition goes out the door.

For the next time these players step on the court, they are playing only for themselves. Each team is allowed nine players to compete in the year-end district tournament. Three singles players, and three doubles teams.

This is the first time that a third singles player is added to competitive play, so many teams see that as an opportunity to let younger players get a shot at the varsity level.

In the 3A singles bracket, senior Leo Seo from Auburn Riverside took home the district championship for the Ravens. Seo beat the freshman from Thomas Jefferson, Sanchit Sharma. Leo upset Sharma, as he was the four seed and Sharma was the third seed.

Auburn High senior Gabe McNichols made a deep run as well advancing to the semifinals, after dropping two in a row to a pair of Raiders (Sharma def. 6-3, 7-6 | Kim 6-3, 4-6, 10-6) in heart-breaking fashion. McNichols was able to bounce back and take fourth place overall, beating Riverside senior Roman Lopes (6-0, 6-1), who would finish fifth.

Auburn Mountainview had two singles players reach the second round (Dominick Weir and Jayden Low). Low reached the quarterfinals before losing to Sharma, who was en route to the championship match.

Auburn Riverside’s Cegielski twins (Daniel and Matthew) in their opening match at Auburn High School. Photo by Ben Ray/Sound Publishing

Auburn Riverside’s Cegielski twins (Daniel and Matthew) in their opening match at Auburn High School. Photo by Ben Ray/Sound Publishing

In doubles, Auburn Riverside showed their dominance. The Cegielski twins — Mathew Cegielski and Daniel Cegielski — dominated the competition, showing how well above the competition they are. The twins lost a total of five games on the road to their championship. For reference, Leo, who won the singles bracket, lost 8 games before the championship, and he lost seven games in the championship match for a total of 15 games to be the singles district champion. The Celgielski twins lost 5 — that’s it.

The only squad that made the Cegielskis sweat was Todd Beamer’s number one team made up of Sinn and Nguyen, and they only won three games. Riverside’s number two doubles team had the four seed coming into the tournament. Sophomore Giuseppe Battista and junior Luke Bateman dropped their quarterfinal matchup to that Sinn and Nguyen, but were able to bounce back. Battista and Bateman, after being sent to the loser bracket, won two consecutive matches and then took down the same team that sent them down to secure fourth place.

Auburn Mountainview’s top doubles (12 Emmett Weichbrodt, 12 Johnathan Mulenga) team won their first match in a third set tie-breaker, then dropped their next. The Cegielski twins will no doubt be favorites to make a deep run into the postseason and a chance at the state title.

The next round of playoff tennis commences at the Boeing Employee Tennis Club for the West Central District tournament. For 3A, the tournament is Oct. 26-27. The top 6 finishers qualify for state in Vancouver at the Vancouver Tennis Club on May 26-27. In the 4A class ,their WCD starts Oct. 28-29. Only the top 5 qualify for state in Kennewick at Kamiakin High School and The Pacific Center, which also takes place May 26-27.