Westview girls tennis brings home state gold
BEAVERTON, Ore.—Westview's girls tennis team made school history a little more than three miles down the road at the Babette Horenstein Tennis Center from May 19-21.
The team won the first girls tennis state championship in school history with 25 total points, soundly beating second place Jesuit by nine points. The previous best finish for the Wildcats was in 2019 when the team finished second place with 12 points, runners-up to then-champion Sunset. In addition to a state title, Westview also won its first Metro League title.
The team also won the schools first doubles championship when senior Karolina Dobiecka and junior Amberly Au defeated Jesuit's junior Mishi Batinkova and senior Libby Day in straight sets (6-2, 6-1).
Hard to call the season anything but a resounding success.
"It's a testimony to these girls, I'm just lucky to get to coach these girls because they work so hard," Westview girls tennis coach Tom Lefor said. "It's just, they have dedicated their lives to tennis before school and after school, and to get to coach them and achieve these goals this year…we had a few goals this year, to win the Metro League and to win state. They went after it. It's a tremendous honor and I'm so proud of these girls."
For doubles champions Dobiecka and Au, the expectations were clear from the time they started playing together: gold.
"I think our expectations were championship or bust just because we both knew the challenges and the other players we would play against, and we knew we could face them all," Dobiecka said after the championship victory.
The duo was seeded No. 1 over all and received a first-round bye. In the second round, they defeated South Salem sophomores Andria Yao and Nidhi Nagaraj in straight sets (6-1, 6-0); in the quarterfinals they swept Sherwood seniors Mandie Jensen and Meg McLaughlin (6-0, 6-0).
To reach the championship match, Dobiecka and Au had to face teammates Riho Iijima and Tessa Rozendal, winning in straight sets (6-2, 6-3).
Against Batinkova and Day in the finals, the Westview duo had to settle into the match and overcome some jitters, according to Au.
"The beginning I was really nervous, I was just really tight and everything, but near the end I started feeling looser," Au said. "Once we got a lead, I kind of just started going."
The championship win, the district title and the team's state championship were appreciated not just by longtime coach Lefor, but the players as well.
"I love doubles, and I feel so grateful that my senior year I got to play doubles and play with Amberly who's just a super nice, super exceptional person and an absolutely awesome doubles partner to play with," Dobiecka said. "It was really fun. I loved every minute of it."
Westview very nearly added a third title to its state tournament haul. Junior singles player Neena Feldman reached the finals of her bracket, coming up short against eventual state champion, Clackamas sophomore Lauren Han in straight sets (6-3, 6-4).
Feldman, the No. 2 overall seed, received a bye in the first round and then defeated North Medford senior Molly Milligan, Sheldon senior Emerson Kearney, and Jesuit sophomore Carissa Gerung in straight sets to reach the finals.
While the match didn't go Feldman's way in the finals, Lefor was happy with the way his top singles player competed.
"(Neena) has had a tremendous season," Lefor said. "The last two seasons she was undefeated in Metro and has played tremendous tennis. This was a tough match, Lauren didn't miss a lot and credit to Lauren, she played an incredible tournament…I think Neena was right there, I think the match went fantastically, Lauren just had the edge today. Hit the ball a little bit better, that's what we'll work for with Neena, just get back to the drawing board with here, just getting back to her zone, her game. Her strength is pretty incredible as well, and that's something we'll continue to work on as well."
Westview also secured the third-place spot in the doubles bracket. Senior Riho Iijima and freshman Tessa Rozendal won their first three matches, defeating Barlow seniors Sophie Bier and Kari Moffat, South Salem senior Erin Cridge and sophomore Sadie Paterson, and Nelson senior Sophie Denham and junior Shanah Denham. After losing to Dobiecka and Au in the semifinals, Iijima and Rozendal defeated West Linn juniors Kate and Meg DeVall in straight sets (7-5, 6-2).
Jesuit was second in the event with 16 points, led by sophomore Carissa Gerung who advanced to the semifinals before losing to Feldman.
In the boys tournament, Lincoln overcame Jesuit with 21.5 points to take the team title, while the Crusaders were second with 19, West Linn third with 17, and Sunset tied with Lake Oswego four fourth with 10 points each.
Beaverton's Tannor Binder, the tournament's No. 2-overall seed, advanced to the singles final before losing to Lincoln's Will Semler 6-4, 7-6.
In doubles, Sunset juniors Parsa Nasri and Kei Watanabe took home the first place trophy, defeating Lake Oswego's Cooper Whittington and Alex Beechem 6-2, 6-0.
Jesuit's doubles team of Yohan Pandya and Ethan Tran placed third, winning their third place match over Lakeridge's Nathan Mittelstadt and Tyler Pyle.
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