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Jones, Mueller pick up big wins against the visiting White Buffaloes, first single Child falls 2-1

PIONEER PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Logan Child, Molalla's number one singles player, lost a close match to Madras's Brandon Salgado. However, Molalla was able to best the visiting White Buffaloes 5-3 on Tuesday, April 24. Molalla—In another strong showing for Molalla's boys tennis team, the Indians bested the visiting Madras White Buffaloes 5-3 on Tuesday, April 24.

It was strong showing for the Molalla singles players, who won three out of their four matchups. First singles player Logan Child was the only singles player who dropped his matchup, but it was a solid showing. Child won the first set 7-3, but was unable to stop Madras's Brandon Salgado from battling back to claim the next two sets. Eric Jones and Peter Mueller both won their matches in two sets. Jones improved his individual record to 6-2 on the season, and number three singles player Mueller moved to an impressive 8-0 overall. The final member of the singles team, Chris Cole, won his sets 6-3 and 6-2.

Molalla's double teams went 2-2 against Madras. Mason Simpson and Noss Kutsev won their matchup 6-2 and 6-1, and Hayden Lowrie and Jackson Jones posted scores of 6-4 and 6-2. While the other two doubles pairs were not victorious, the teams were not blown out. Ricky Oteros and Nathan Pederson lost 4-6 and 4-6, and Nick Viol and Teo Sjoestrand lost 5-7 and 4-6.

For Molalla boys tennis head coach Laurel Rose, the team is performing well but can use some fine tuning if they want to compete going into the district tournament.

"They've got to learn that control and placement is more important than power," Rose said. "But how do you tell a teenage boy that? 'It's all about the power.' Power, but it went into the net, or power, but it went over the fence on the other side. That didn't do you any good. But if you had just dropped it right there in the forecourt, they wouldn't have got it and you would have had a point."

The team has been competing with the best in the Tri-Valley Conference, and has been in the middle of the pack. For Rose, competing to the extent and doing as well as they have is not surprising, and is a marked improvement from where they were when she started. After all, there is no youth tennis program in Molalla and the team competes against others who are coached by professionals.

"When I first started coaching, we were bottom," Rose said. "Then we moved up to second from the bottom, and gradually keep moving up. I would say that other programs are just so solid that if we end up fifth out of 10 I would be totally happy. Philomath and Cascade are super strong. They have tennis pros for coaches. That's awesome because those coaches are really nice, they help my boys too after we're done playing. They're just coaches by nature. So they'll give them any pointers or help that the guys need. If I can get up there right below the powerhouses I'd be pretty happy."

As the season closes in on the district tournaments, Rose hopes to have several representatives be seeded in the district tournament. But she and the team have one person in particular they have their hopes pinned to.

"We'd all like to get Logan to state," Rose said. "If I can get him in a good bracket for the district tournament, he should be able to get himself into the top four. I think he's one of the top four players in the district."

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