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Elsa Harris follows through after hitting a shot during the OSAA?Class 4A/3A/2A/1A State Tennis Championships. Harris finished third in the tournament.
All season, Crook County High School girls tennis coach Lloyd Rodgers has been saying that sophomore Elsa Harris is one of the top tennis players in the Northwest.
This weekend, Harris proved Rodgers right as she played her way to a third-place finish in the singles portion of the OSAA Class 4A/3A/2A/1A State Tennis Championships.
“I feel good about how I played,” Harris said. “For the most part I played my best, but I could have been a little more consistent and more mentally tough.”
Not only did Harris finish third in the singles championship, the five points that she scored were good enough to vault Crook County to sixth place in the team championships even though Harris was the lone Cowgirl at the tournament.
Harris rolled through her first-round match Friday morning, whipping Susan Routson of Umatilla 6-0, 6-1. The quarterfinal match against Malvika Ramesh of Blanchet Catholic was more difficult for Harris.
“She didn’t play her best, but she stuck it out,” Rodgers said. “She won it because she toughed it out.”
In the semifinals, Harris was unable to keep pace with No. 2 seed Lara Rakocevic, who went on to win the singles championship at the tournament. Harris stayed close early in the match, before falling 6-3, 6-1.
Harris rebounded to knock off Rachael Nedrow of Oregon Episcopal, 6-1, 6-4, to take third place in the tournament. The win was especially significant as Nedrow was the tournament champion in 2012.
Nedrow lost her semifinal match 6-1,6-2 to Kaitlyn Lomartire of Valley Catholic. Lomartire went on to finish second in the singles portion of the tournament.
Hannah Huston and Cassy Lematta of Oregon Episcopal won the doubles championship, helping the Aardvarks to their second consecutive state championship, and fourth in the last five years.
Oregon Episcopal finished with 14 points to edge Catlin Gabel which scored 10 points. North Bend came away with third (8), while Henley took fourth (7), Valley Catholic wound up fifth (6), and the Cowgirls sixth (5). Ridgeview, which won the district championship, finished tied for seventh with four points.
Oregon Episcopal also won the boys portion of the tournament finishing with 22 points to outdistance second place Catlin Gabel.
This is the second trip to the state tournament for Harris, who is still just a sophomore. However, this year is much more successful than her first trip. Last year she lost in the quarterfinals and failed to place in the tournament.
Rodgers expects Harris to be even stronger next year.
“She plays tennis all year, and is continually getting better,”?he said. “She’s very precise and she just picks people apart.”
Although Harris would like to have done better at the tournament she was pleased with the final outcome.
“It went well,” she said. “It felt good.”