Newberg pair headed on to state
With the pressure on last week at the Three Rivers League district tournament, Newberg doubles partners Matt Weiler and Quentin Nigbur were at their best.
With a bid to the state tournament on the line, the pair faced West Linn's Ben Walker and Alex Houlette in a quarterfinal match that NHS coach Dave Brown said could have easily gone either way.
But Weiler and Nigbur jumped out to an early lead and cruised to a decisive 6-1, 6- victory to punch their ticket to state.
"We got momentum early," Weiler said. "All we had to do was get them mad."
The pair didn't have the same kind of start in the semifinals versus top seed and eventual champions Ethan Davies and Dante Sterling of Lakeridge, falling 6-1. The Tigers turned things around in the second, but couldn't get over the hump in a 6-4 loss.
"The second set was good," Nigbur said. "We battled really hard even though we lost it. The first set took way too long to get rolling."
The duo appeared to be headed for third place after winning the opening set of their final match versus Justin Lawrence and Grant Grainger of West Linn, but faltered midway through the second set. The Lions rallied to win 7-5 and with momentum on their side, cruised to a 6-1 win in the third.
"We couldn't hold our serve in the second set," Weiler said. "Then we started holding our serve and breaking theirs, but it was a little too late. That was a really slow start in the second set."
Weiler and Nigbur's run fueled Newberg to a sixth-place finish as a team with 12.5 points, just behind Tigard (13) and Tualatin (14.5). Jesh Pintor and Jonathan Guzman also advanced to the consolation semifinals for the Tigers.
Next up for Weiler and Nigbur will be a first-round match versus McKay at the OSAA 6A state championships Thursday at the Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation Center in Beaverton.