PREP TENNIS: Panthers face an uphill battle

INDEPENDENCE — Central’s boys and girls tennis teams have a difficult task ahead of them at the Mid-Willamette Conference District tennis championships.

The three-day tournament, held at Timberhill Tennis Lodge in Corvall,is begins Wednesday (today) and continues on Thursday and Friday.

The top four singles and doubles pairs earn a trip to the state championships.

The boys team’s top doubles pair of Brice Spreadbury and Hassan Eltelbany was seeded sixth on Monday night. The pair received a scare on May 3 when Spreadbury rolled his ankle during a match. He missed the regular season finale, but recovered enough to rejoin Eltelbany.

Senior Kevin Cable will enter the singles bracket ranked third.

“I’m hopeful we will go on to state,” boys coach Patty Youngren said.

Anthony Martinez, Joel Robison and Chris Polanco are unseeded in the singles bracket as are the doubles pairs of Brian Larson and Nathaniel Miller, Bailey Yates and Justin Landers and Luis Vera and Clark Gallagher.

Cable advanced to state in 2015 in doubles but faces a new challenge in singles play against tough competition.

The top four players and doubles pairs advance to the state tournament.

The girls squad sees Patience Teague enter as the eighth seed with Kylie Smith, Tamoka Naru and Ana Martinez entering unseeded.

The doubles pairs of Renee Bruning and Danielle Chance, Olivia Teague and Diana Huerte, Julia Hamar and Andrea Garibay, and Annika Riddle and Alex Trevino enter the tournament unseeded, though girls coach Dave Eble said the Panthers can surprise.

“Anybody can have a good tournament,” Eble said. “We could have people win in several rounds in the main draw and there are some chances for players to do well in the consolation. It pretty much depends on how they play.”

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