Three Oregon City tennis players reach league finals, advance to state
Oregon City's Michael Perez finished second in singles and the Pioneers' doubles team of David Engelman and Jaron Sorensen also finished second at Wednesday's Mt. Hood Conference boys' tennis district championships at David Douglas High School.
Perez, the tournament's No. 2 seed, dominated his first three matches before dropping a 6-1, 6-1 decision to top-seeded Christian Maxey of Barlow in the final.
"I guess it was one of those days," Perez said. "I wasn't moving the greatest and my forehand wasn't the greatest. I was serving OK, but I've served better."
Perez, a junior who transferred to Oregon City from Dana Hills High School in Dana Point, California, won each of his first three matches by identical scores of 6-1, 6-0, setting up his showdown with Maxey.
"I definitely went into the final thinking I could give him a run for his money," Perez said. "I don't think he really changed anything from when we played the first time. I just was not playing very good today."
In the doubles final, Engelman and Sorensen also were seeded second and ended up losing 6-4, 6-4 to top-seeded and defending district champions Kenton Bui and Thien Nguyen of David Douglas.
"The final was definitely a letdown, I think," Engelman said. "Some calls happened, and then we started hitting some bad shots, but overall I thought it was a really good match. I'm very proud of us, and props to Kenton and Thien. They had an amazing season, too."
When the season started, Engelman played No. 1 singles and Sorensen played No. 3 singles for the Pioneers. Then they switched to playing No. 1 doubles and went undefeated through the second half of league play, although their win in the April 17 match with David Douglas came on a day when Bui and Nguyen took a break from playing doubles, so Wednesday's final marked the first time all four had stepped onto the court together.
"We came out and we were expecting them to be good, and they were," Sorensen said. "It was still back and forth the whole way."
The OSAA Class 6A tennis championships open Thursday with Perez drawing a first-round match against Sheldon's Garrett Laurie. The winner advances to a second-round match against No. 2-seeded Luke Lemaitre of Westview.
Engelman and Sorensen will take on West Linn's Grant Grainer and Justin Lawrence in the first round, with the winner moving on to face No. 2-seeded Nick Denley and Cooper Rich of McMinnville.