Tragedy at Highlands High School causes tennis tournament to be rescheduled

Just hours before the league doubles tennis tournament was to start on April 26, an 86-year-old woman was found murdered at Highlands High School, causing the match to be rescheduled.

According to the Sacramento Bee, Fusako Petrus and her 60-year-old exercise partner, whose name has not been released, were on their morning walk around the Highlands High track when a man attacked and sexually assaulted the younger of the two women. When Petrus tried to assist her friend, she too was attacked and died at the scene.

The police have 18-year-old suspect Neven Butler  in custody.

Due to the murder, the tournament was rescheduled for the following day, April 27.

Four of the seven Country Day tennis players qualified to represent SCDS.

Sophomore Michaela Chen competed in the girls’ singles championship match, and seniors Emil Erickson and Christian Van Vleck played boys’ doubles.

Junior Nico Burns’s match for the boys’ singles championships was canceled because his opponent forfeited.

Chen, seeded second in the league for girls’ singles, played Rebecca Mar, a sophomore from Bradshaw Christian High School, seeded first.

Chen had lost to Mar twice before, so it did not come as a surprise when she was beaten a third time (0-6, 3-6).

“My opponent was skilled,” Chen said, commenting on Mar’s impressive ball control, serves and topspins.

Even though she lost, Chen was not disappointed in her playing.

“I played smart and tired out my opponent by hitting the ball from one corner to the other,” Chen said.

The one thing she wished she had done differently was hit with a less open racket, so the balls didn’t go so far.

Nevertheless, Chen qualified for sectionals.

Erickson and Van Vleck placed second in the boys doubles championships.

They did very well in their first two matches, (6-0, 6-0) and (6-2, 6-1), but struggled in their last and lost (1-6, 1-6).

According to Erickson, this was about what they expected.

“We played well (but) the team we played in the final was really good,” Erickson said.

Van Vleck agreed, saying that although they were outplayed in their final match, they communicated well.

Check back for the results of the section championships on Thursday, May 4, and Friday, May 5.

By Anna Frankel

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