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Rangers run over Molalla in boys tennis

by: ESTACADA NEWS: PARKER LEE - Estacadas Luis Drexler makes a return during his 6-0, 6-0 win in the singles ladder Thursday.Half an hour. That is all the time Estacada tennis player Luis Drexler needed to put away Molalla’s Salvador Cueva on Thursday. Drexler won 6-0, 6-0 in the meet’s No. 1 singles match to help boost the Rangers to a 7-1 team victory over the visiting Indians.

Had the temperature not been a balmy 75 degrees, Drexler wouldn’t have come close to breaking a sweat. He hit the ball exactly where he wanted on almost every shot and had Cueva racing all over the court.

Drexler’s service game was especially efficient. He got his blazing first serve in most of the time, which tied Cueva up in knots. When Drexler had to go to his second serve, the result wasn’t much different. Cueva failed to return more than a few serves in the entire match.

“I tried to use a harder serve with no spin,” Drexler said. “He could have made it a game if I changed that, but I did not have to.”

Cueva did not have a whole lot more success on his own serve. He struggled to get his first serve in, so he had to resort to his second frequently. Drexler teed-off on the second serve and Cueva rarely got his racket on the returns.

In the 30-minute match, Drexler only lost four points and was never in danger of dropping a game. He stayed undefeated with the win and has a legitimate chance to claim the top seed at the district meet. Estacada coach Mario Olivares believes Drexler’s skillset makes him a true contender, both at district and at state.

“He is a great athlete and he plays so smooth. He is the best player I’ve ever coached,” Olivares said. “What makes him so good is his mental game. He always stays positive. In tennis, it’s easy to get down if things don’t go your way, but he always keeps the motor running upstairs.”

On the court adjacent to Drexler, No. 1 doubles teammates Benton Arnett and Armando Cano earned a hard-fought 7-5, 7-5 win. In both sets, Arnett and Cano made a few unforced errors, but didn’t let those misses pile up.

“They sustained focus for the length of the match,” Olivares said. “They really bounced back well from the few mistakes they made.”

Arnett, Cano and the other Rangers will compete at the district meet on Thursday at Madras High School.

The Rangers got a district tune-up over the weekend by tying host Sandy for the team title at a four-team tournament.




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