CORVALLIS — Playing through the first hot, 85-degree weather of the season, the Central and Dallas high school boys and girls tennis teams competed at the three-day OSAA 5A Tennis Districts at Timberhill Athletic Club in Corvallis on May 8, 9 and 10.
Boys Team: Senior Jean deWouters, a foreign exchange student from Belgium, was the only Panther on the boys team to make it through districts with victories, claiming a state-bound title.
Of all the matches he engaged in, head coach Patty Youngren said deWouters’ final match on Thursday against Dragon Jacob Gillette, was “the real fight and fun match. Both have matured so much this season from their first meeting early April,” she said. “They battled out the first set trading being ahead several times, deWouters winning finally 7-5. While deWouters was able to bring an end to the match at 6-4 the second set, it was just as big as a battle. At one point, going hard for a ball, Gillette literally broke his shoe lace and had to stop and replace it,” Youngren said.
Winning that match meant deWouters moved on to Friday’s match, where he lost to Bojan Soskic for the championship title, and took third place overall.
deWouters will play at the state tournament this Friday at the Portland Tennis Center.
Girls Team: Only five members of the 12-member varsity Panthers tennis team had previous experience at districts.
“The young team did well,” said head coach Patty Nevue.
On Wednesday: On the singles team, Reann Kelly won 6-1, 6-3; Berean Jones lost 3-6, 4-6; Jill McBeth lost 6-2, 6-0, and Molly Scroggins won 4-6, 6-2, and 6-3.
On the doubles team, Amelia Cantu and Kimi Montes won, 6-0, 6-0, and then lost 6-0, 6-0 to the No. 2 seeded team; Hazel Lydum and Rylie Smith won 7-6, 6-0; Mia McDaniel and Negori Goneli fell 6-7, 6-3; and Faith Berry and Kaitlyn Dorn won 6-4 6-3.
Berry said it was an interesting day for her and Dorn.
“It’s been interesting because me and my partner have been sick and puking before our matches,” Berry said. “But I mean, we still pulled it out and did really well.”
Thursday, she said she still wasn’t feeling well, but “I’m gonna try and tough it out.”
For Thursday, in the singles team, Kelly defeated Hanyoung Kim of Crescent Valley, 6-0, 6-0. Moving on to the quarterfinals, Kelly lost to the No. 2 seeded Journey Lipscomb, 6-0, 6-1. Scroggins lost 6-1, 6-1 to Jess Sossie, also in the quarterfinals round.
On the doubles team, Smith and Lydum lost to top-seeded McGough and Forester of Corvallis, 6-1, 6-1.
Berry and Dorn fell to Crescent Valley’s Nebeker and Paterson, 6-1, 6-0.
In the consolation quarterfinals, Cantu and Montes fell to a pair from Corvallis, 8-5.
No girls are headed to the state tournament.
Boys Team: On Thursday, in the singles matches, junior Jacob Gillette battled it out for a spot at state against Central’s Jean deWouters. Gillette ultimately fell to deWouters.
He said his districts experience went well overall, and going into districts, was seeded fifth.
“I played Crescent Valley’s No. 4, and won 3-6, 4-6. Today I played Corvallis’ No. 2, won 2-6, 3-6, so that was really good. I just came from playing Central’s No. 1, and lost 5-7, 3-6. I could have played a bit better in the last match, but I did the best I could. If I had won it I would have gone to state.”
On the doubles side, senior Peyton Curtis and freshman Elijah Contreras made it all the way through to quarterfinals.
“Yesterday (Wednesday) we were out here, out in the sun from noon to 2, so it was pretty hot, and we went to a third set, and it was really close the entire time, and we won 6-4, 4-6, 6-4,” Curtis said.
On Thursday, “we had a long match that we won ,” Curtis said. “We got bageled in the second set, we won, we lost, and then we won. That was against a South Albany team, the No. 1 seed. So we got to quarterfinals, and then played the No. 2 doubles and lost.”
No one from the boys team qualified for the state tournament.
Girls Team: Two doubles teams, seniors Kinzi Boer and Amanda Schafer, and seniors Maddie Kennedy and Bekah Rocak, made it through to the winner’s bracket on Thursday.
As Boer and Schafer prepared to play Lebanon, who were ranked higher than the Dragons duo, Boer said “we take it one point at a time, even if the opponent is one that we could win against. Today we are playing two games and we’re gonna take it one point at a time.”
“Yeah, I think we have a chance,” Schafer chimed in.
Boer and Schafer entered the bracket seeded fifth and defeated Lebanon No. 1 doubles team 6-2, 4-6, and 6-1. They moved on to compete against South Albany’s No. 1 team in the quarterfinals match on Thursday and fell 4-6, 6-1 and 4-6.
The girls said it is bittersweet that their high school tennis career is over.
“But we’ve played together since freshman year, so it’s great that we’re ending it together,” Boer said.
Kennedy and Rocak defeated West Albany’s No. 1 doubles, seeded No. 7 in the tournament, 7-5, 6-3.
In the quarterfinals the team met the No. 2 seed in the tournament and lost 2-6, 0-6.
No girls will be moving on to the state tournament.