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INDEPENDENCE — The Central High School Panthers boys team were swept 8-0 by the Crescent Valley High School Raiders on April 16.

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So far this season, the Panthers have won three matches and lost four.

Head coach Patti Youngren said she is proud of how hard the boys have been working amidst obstacles like rain and canceled matches.

“Crescent Valley has been a tough team each year because of their proximity to Timberhill Tennis Club in Corvallis and Timberhill’s great lesson program for juniors,” Youngren said.

She said playing tough teams is a good tool for them moving closer to districts, as long as they can shake off the losses. 

On the courts, the Panthers were overpowered by quick serves and offensive strategies by the Raiders.

In the singles matches, Jean deWouters lost 6-1, 6-2 to Bjorn Soskie; Zach Stone lost 6-0, 6-0 to Jacob Eckroth; Nathaniel Thompson lost 6-2, 6-2 to Max Solensky; and David Glade fell 6-3, 6-3 to Michael Gin. In the doubles matches, Moshe Martinez and Alex Jimenez fell 6-3, 6-1 to Kevin Dai and Todd Meng.

“It was a good match; they were a good team,” Jimenez said.

“Going in, we knew they were a strong team,” Martinez said, “so, we just said we were going to try our best and have fun.”

Both Martinez and Jimenez said they have been frustrated with the last few weeks’ worth of rain and canceled practices and matches.

“It’s been tough, a lot of missed practices,” Jimenez said.

“I feel like we could be at a different level if we had more practice time,” Martinez said.

“You just have to deal with it, though; that’s just the game,” Jimenez said.

Thursday, the Panthers traveled to Corvallis’ courts, where it faced another 8-0 sweep.

The loss was not indicative of how the team played, said Youngren.

“While it appears Corvallis stomped us on the surface of the set scores, it was not that way at all,” she said. “As a matter of fact, I had to have a few players repeat their ending score so that I could record them because as someone watching the games, one would have guessed the scores to be much closer than the final results suggested. It was a lovely day for tennis and we had so many family members watching; it felt good. The boys enjoyed the time on the courts.”

Central hosted Lebanon on Tuesday after press time.

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