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WEB EXCLUSIVE - Barlow sends two into singles semis and David Douglas does the same in doubles

OUTLOOK PHOTO: DAVID BALL - David Douglas' Brittney Cao prepares to hit a backhand return during a second-round doubles win Tuesday morning.



6A GIRLS TENNIS
MHC district tournament Day 2

Team (top 3) Score
1. Clackamas
16
2. Barlow
10
3. David Douglas
9


OREGON CITY — The Clackamas girls tennis team rolled through the singles bracket to wrap up the team title after Tuesday's quarterfinals matches at the Mount Hood Conference district tournament.

The Cavaliers saw all four of their singles players win multiple matches at the tournament, accounting for half of the quarterfinal field. Senior Nikki Kolpakov highlighted that effort by knocking off the No. 4 seed 6-1, 6-3 in Tuesday morning's second round.

Clackamas still has three players in contention across both brackets heading into Wednesday's semifinals, which begin at 10 a.m. at David Douglas.

The doubles duo of Olivia Morris and Meiling Masterson swept past the No. 3 seed in the doubles quarterfinals last night, while rookie Elise Kang has surrendered only two games across three matches on her way to the singles semifinals.

Clackamas has 16 points — six ahead of Barlow.

The Bruins find themselves in second place, getting a boost from rookie Olivia O'Halloran, who scored a key head-to-head victory over Kolpakov 6-3, 6-3 in the quarterfinals.

She will face teammate Grace Maxey, the tourney's top seed, in the semifinals. Maxey hasn't dropped a game in the first three rounds of the tourney.

Three of the four semifinalists on the girls side are freshmen.

Barlow saw its doubles duo of Shania Nair and Katelyn Chung scored a 6-0, 6-4 win over and Oregon City duo in Tuesday's second round.

The pair was on cruise control up 4-1 in the second set, only to see their opponents rush back to tie the score at four games apiece.

"That was an eye-opening moment," Nair said. "We talked it over during one of the switchovers and got that refresher."

The reset seemed to work, as Chung hit a close-range blast off Gabbi Escamilla's racquet to give the Bruins a chance to serve out the match.

Nair used a series of sharp backhands to give the Bruins the upper hand, and Chung won a volley at the net to bring up double match-point. Nair finished it on the first opportunity with a winner down the alley.

"We did a good job with communication and knowing who was taking the next hit," Chung said.

David Douglas is one point back in third place, scoring the bulk of its points in the doubles bracket where top seeded Jie Tan and Lillian Truong won 12 of the last 13 games to survive a three-set challenge in the second round. They went on to pick up a straight-set win over a Clackamas duo in the quarterfinals.

In the same side of the bracket, Brittney Cao and Emily Phan haven't surrendered more than three games in a set so far.

"We are motivated. We feel like we can go far with this draw," Phan said.

The duo opened Tuesday's action with a 6-0, 6-3 second-round win, finishing it off when Ta hit a serve and immediately approached the net to put away the next ball that came her way.

"Coach (Bret Walker) is always telling us to serve and get to the net," Cao said.

The group of four Scots' seniors will square off in Wednesday's semifinal round, guaranteeing David Douglas a team in the doubles final later in the day.

The Scots nearly made it three teams in the quarterfinals, but Pa Xiong and Nicole Lee saw their upset bid come up a few games short in the second round against No. 3 seed Avelina Borovskiy and Kailea Messenger out of Centennial.

The Scots' duo broke serve early in the third set, only to see Centennial rush back in front when Messenger reached to the middle of the net for a backhand winner. Messenger won a volley exchange at the net a couple games later to put the Eagles in charge 5-2.

The Douglas pair stayed with it, closing to within a single game after Xiong hit a short ball that Centennial returned into the net.

The Scots brought up break point with a chance to pull even after Lee connected for an overhead smash, but Borovskiy hit a pair of service aces into the far corner to bring up match point. The Centennial pair advanced when Messenger hit three straight volleys at the net to put the Scots' off-balance, setting up Borovskiy for a winner from the baseline.

Centennial's duo of Sara Lee and Olivia Harms has won a pair of three-set marathons to advance to today's semifinals against Clackamas' Morris and Masterson. Only one of the four seeded teams advanced to the doubles semifinals.

Centennial sits in fourth place with eight points.

OUTLOOK PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Gresham's Carlota Ochoa hits a return during her three-set win in second-round singles play Tuesday.

In the longest match of Day 2, Gresham's Carlota Ochoa, and exchange student from Spain, outlasted Barlow rookie Angelina Riley 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 to reach the singles quarterfinals.

The two remained on serve through five games in the third set before Ochoa hit a perfectly placed lob shot over her opponent to gain the upper hand in Game 6. She broke serve by drawing Riley to the net with a drop shot, forcing a rushed return that carried long.

The two spent most of the match trading safe hits from the baseline — one exchange going for 56 hits — but Ochoa rushed the net on back-to-back points to take charge 5-2 with a pair of cross-court winners.

"This is district, so we were playing very careful, not wanting to risk a lot," Ochoa said. "But when I saw her way far on the left side and thought this is my point, so I came up and hit it to the opposite side where she wouldn't have time to get it."

Ochoa closed out the match on her second opportunity.

Her two singles wins provided Gresham with its only points of the tournament.


View photos at davidball.smugmug.com.

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