Olivia Cooper and the doubles team of Sarah Connolly and Kadence Kee come up one match shourt of qualifying for state

CENTRAL OREGONIAN FILE PHOTO - Olivia Cooper gets ready to play a shot at a home match earlier this year. Cooper lost a heartbreaking three-set match Monday at the Special District tournament, just missing a trip to state. The Crook County Cowgirls had a nearly perfect day one of the Special District 2 regional tennis tournament, moving eight players into the second round.

However, as good as the first day went, day two of the tournament couldn't have gone much worse.

"We started the day with eight, and by the end of the day, we have zero," a disappointed head coach Lloyd Rodgers said. "We had a pretty good tournament, we just didn't qualify anyone for state."

Day one of the regional tournament was held in Madras last week.

Day two took place Monday at Black Butte Ranch just outside of Sisters.

Going into Monday, the Cowgirls were in third place as a team, just one point out of first.

By the end of the day Monday, any hopes for a championship had been dashed.

Singles players Brittney VanderJagt and Olivia Cooper both won their first match on Monday. However, VanderJagt was quickly eliminated the following round.

Cooper won her second match of the day, reaching the quarterfinals. A win there would have put her in the semifinals and earned an automatic berth in the state tournament.

Playing the No. 3 seed in the tournament, Cooper did everything that she could to win.

The match ended up going three sets, with her opponent from Cascade eventually outlasting Cooper for the win.

"Olivia should have won, but I think she ran out of gas," Rodgers said. "She ended up playing a player that plays just like she does. They would just go with those hour-long rallies. The match went forever, and it as the last match of the day."

The Cowgirls also had three doubles teams still alive heading into Monday's second round.

Marlen Ceja and Tansy Clark along with Hannah Love and Ashley Reynolds lost their first match of the day Monday and were eliminated from the tournament.

Like Cooper, the Cowgirls No. 1 doubles team of Sarah Connolly and Kadence Kee nearly pulled off an upset.

The duo played nearly perfect in the opening set, taking the set 6-1.

"I've never seen them play better than that," Rodgers said. "That first set they were on fire. They played flawlessly. But then they started struggling in the second set."

Connolly and Kee still had a chance to win the match in straight sets. However, after tying the match at 5-5 the duo stumbled, ultimately falling 7-5, setting up a third and final set.

In that set, Connolly and Kee had more difficulty as their opponents from Cascade pulled away, taking the set 6-1.

"When they get close, they have trouble, and that last set they lost all their confidence," Rodgers said. "But we gave them a fight to the finish. We were just that close. So close."

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