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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

State tennis preview: University junior Kailee Alteneder takes on singles in third trip to state

University junior Kailee Alteneder has a Greater Spokane League No. 1 singles career record of 26-1.  (Lori Schneider/courtesy)

University junior Kailee Alteneder might have a name that’s a little tough to pronounce, but she’s making a name for herself on the Greater Spokane League – and state – girls tennis circuit.

Her first name “rhymes with Hawaii” according to her dad, Aaron Alteneder, who was U-Hi boys tennis coach for the better part of the past decade before retiring a couple of years ago.

Kailee is following in the family tennis tradition at U-Hi. Her brother Austin, U-Hi class of 2021, was a No. 1 singles player for Aaron who earned GSL MVP – though COVID wiped out his opportunity to go to state.

Happily for Kailee, she hasn’t had to deal with those restrictions in her high school career. This week she’s headed to state for her third consecutive year in tennis. Her first two trips to state were to play doubles, but she’ll be solo this time.

“Singles is kind of my game,” Alteneder said. “I’ve played singles most of my high school career. I’m used to it by now.”

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association doesn’t announce ordered seeds for the tennis brackets like it does in other sports, but Alteneder received one of the four byes and will await a winner of a play-in match between Prairie’s Elsa Bice and Mercer Island’s Chloe DeGrazia for her opening opponent on Friday.

“I don’t know much about them,” she said of her possible opponents. “If I look them up ahead of time, sometimes I freak myself out. I usually just try to go in with an open mindset and confidence.”

She thinks her mental game is the strongest part of her repertoire.

“I’ve been through a lot of physical challenges over the past few years,” Alteneder said. “Through my training, I’ve built up a real good confidence. I don’t get frustrated easily. I think that will help me going into it.”

Alteneder is a three-time All-GSL first-team selection and two-time league MVP the past two seasons, making her and brother Austin the only siblings in U-Hi history to both earn GSL MVP honors. In her varsity career, her league record in No. 1 singles is 26-1. She has been the top seed to districts the past two season in singles and was undefeated playing doubles as a sophomore. She is a two-time district champion (2022, ’24) and second in 2023.

On top of her prowess on the tennis court, Alteneder is a 4.0 GPA student who was recently elected as her class president for next year and has been the U-Hi National Honor Society president the past two years. She also plays basketball and was voted as team co-captain last season.

She’s looking forward to savoring every moment of the tournament.

“Going into state every year, it just amazes me,” Alteneder said. “It’s an overwhelming joy to get there, and you see all these athletes. You can feel the dedication and the amount of hours that everyone has put in.”

Other locals at state Boys

4A: Radek Janout/Kael Oos McFadden (Lewis and Clark)

3A: John Guske (Mt. Spokane), Garrett Christensen/Shane Skidmore (U-Hi), Bryce Lynd/Charlie Ring (Mead), Josh Knaggs/Robert Wrigley (Mea).

2A: Conner Kunz (West Valley), Benson Plaster (Shadle Park), Aditya Bose-Bandyopadhyay/Benjamin Lee (Pullman), Alex Whittle/Cody Whittle (Clarkston).

1A/2B/1B: Robert DeForest (St. George’s), Isaas Ros (StG), Wyatt Smithson (Deer Park), Alex Watson/Shane Grady (Lakeside), Jeffrey Pierson/Will McDaniel (Newport), Nevarez/Warren (Chewelah).


4A: Kalle Shelby (Central Valley), Emma Chow/Mattison Reslaff (LC).

3A: Kailee Alteneder (U-Hi), Madison Orr (U-Hi), Josie Kellogg/Lexi Mattox (Mea), Kiera Hayes/Devyn Hoppe (Mea).

2A: Diana Gutierrez (Pul), Danielle Cozzetto (SP), Olivia Gustafson/Ella Leavitt (Cla), Kayla Frei/Eloise Teasley (Cla).

1A: Addie Russel (DP), Avery Haff/Abi Boykin (Lak).

2B/1B: Avi Sahota (Chew), Gursimr Sahota (Chew), Keller/Schlenker (StG), Ross/Grooms (Chew).