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Plesha brothers advance to Regionals

WEST RICHLAND - The brother combination of Johnny and Danny Plesha were the only Sunnyside High School boys tennis players to make it out of the District tournament this past Saturday at Hanford High School.

The Grizzlies are currently tied with Wapato for second place with 12 points. West Valley looks to have the District crown sewn up, said Sunnyside Coach Troy Whittle.

The Plesha brothers played earlier today for seeding into this weekend's Regional tournament to be staged in Sunnyside.

After receiving a first-round bye, the Pleshas opened up tourney play against West Valley's No. 3 doubles team of Burke and Nathey, winning 6-1, 6-1.

"They were having a good time," said Whittle.

Whittle said his top doubles team looked very relaxed in their opening match.

The Plesha brothers then faced some stiff competition in West Valley's No. 2 doubles team of Jimmy Marble and Greg Marro, who were 10-1 on the season. The Sunnyside pair won convincingly, though, 6-0, 6-2. Whittle said the Plesha brothers played solid in both matches and should do well in today's semi-final match against Selah's No. 1 doubles team. If the Pleshas win they will have to face the winner of the other semi-final match between West Valley's No. 1 regular season doubles team and Hanford's regular season top doubles team in the championship match.

Despite only advancing the Plesha brothers, Whittle said the rest of his boys team did well considering he had to make some last minute replacements.

Brian Harvey played at No. 1 singles for the Grizzlies and went 0-2. Whittle said a scoring error in the opening match against Selah cost Harvey. Whittle said Harvey was very competitive in both his matches.

At No. 2 singles was Sunnyside freshman Jake Wavrin, who pulled off a bit of an upset in his first match. Wavrin knocked off Selah's No. 1 singles player 6-2, 0-6, 6-1. Whittle said in the second set Wavrin was very inconsistent, but rebounded nicely to pull out the match. Whittle said if Wavrin puts in some practice he will be a good tennis player for the Grizzlies in the future. Wavrin's day was brought to an end as he had to face Grandview's top tennis player Kevin Floyd, losing 6-0, 6-0.

Playing in the No. 2 doubles spot was Sunnyside's Reid Schilperoort and Tony Cantu. The Grizzly pair won its first match against Grandview's regular season No. 2 doubles team 6-0, 6-1. Schilperoort and Cantu then lost to Hanford's Oliver Lei and Mark Stevens 6-4, 6-0. The Falcon pair played in today's semi-final match against West Valley. Schilperoort and Cantu were actually up 4-3 in the first set, as Hanford had a hard time against a powerful forehand from Schilperoort.

Whittle also had to piece together his No. 3 doubles team. Whittle teamed Jonathan Beals with Dane Smith and found some success. The Sunnyside duo won their first match against Prosser's regular season No. 3 doubles team 7-5, 6-4.

"It was a really competitive match," said Whittle. "They had some good points."

Smith and Beals then lost to Selah's No. 1 doubles team 6-4, 6-2.

The Sunnyside boys finished their Mid-Valley League season 4-10, 5-10 overall. Depending on who comes back next season, Whittle will not lose a senior on the boys varsity team.

"If our boys team decides to be serious and dedicate next year, we have a shot at the league title," said Whittle.

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