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Diaz, Mendez top tournament finishers

Steve Diaz of Grandview and Erica Mendez of Sunnyside won the men's and women's singles titles at this past weekend's Sunnyside Sunshine Days Tennis Tournament.

Diaz prevailed over Sunnyside's Allen Gapuz in the men's championship match. Diaz fought back from a 6-3 loss to Gapuz to claim the singles title, winning the final two sets by identical 6-4 scores. In the semi-finals, the Grandview man defeated Pedro Ruiz of Wapato in straight sets-6-4, 6-2.

Capturing the men's singles division consolation championship was Sunnyside's Tyler Thompson. After sustaining a 6-4, 6-1 loss to Gapuz in his opening match, Thompson rebounded for a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Toppenish's Jonathon Schilperoort. That win propelled Thompson into the consolation finals, where he defeated Yakima's David Garent, who retired from the match after things were knotted at one set apiece.

The women's singles competition was a round-robin affair. With only three competitors, Mendez took top honors by claiming 6-2, 6-1 and 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 victories over Marilu Cruz of Wapato and Kendra Golob of Granger, respectively. In what proved to be the match for runner-up honors, Golob defeated Cruz 6-1, 6-3.

The boys 18&U singles division title was claimed by Mitchell Sanchez of Sunnyside. Playing a round-robin format, Sanchez posted a 3-0 record. He dominated the action in his match against Raymond Cantu of Grandview, winning 6-2, 6-0. Sanchez also earned a 6-4, 6-1 win against Jacob Kresse of Outlook, and rallied for a 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 victory against Zillah's Mitch Winters, the eventual runner-up.

In boys 16&U play, Kennewick's Matthew Friehauf was awarded a first round bye, then defeated two straight opponents to earn the top prize. Friehauf prevailed over Matthew Johnson of Sunnyside 6-2, 6-0 in the semi-finals, and was a 6-2, 6-0 winner over Troy Dunbar in the title match. Wapato's Rogelio Ruiz won the consolation championship in that age division.

The men's open doubles winners were Kyle Heisey and Charlie Plesha. The Lower Valley duo won by scores of 6-0, 6-1 in their title match against Allen Gapuz and Roy Pasicaran. In the semi-finals, Heisey/Plesha defeated Jacob Kresse and Mitchell Sanchez 6-1, 6-4.

In mixed doubles play, the tandem of Dell Boswell and Alenka Plesha ran their record to 3-0 to capture top honors. The duo's victories came against Dick and Rachel Schilperoort (6-3, 6-2), Pedro Ruiz and Marilu Cruz (6-3, 6-2) and Rojelio Ruiz and Regina Mendez (6-3, 6-4).

Zillah brothers Cody and Troy Dunbar capped off divisional play by winning the youth 16&U doubles title. The two tennis players posted a 3-0 record.

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