Clackamas' Lauren Han, Nelson's Shanah and Sophie Denham win Mt. Hood Conference district tennis titles
The Cavs and Hawks represented.
The Clackamas and Nelson girls tennis teams — competing in the Mt. Hood Conference district tournament at Glendoveer Golf & Tennis on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, May 9-10 and 12 — both made their marks, with Clackamas sophomore Lauren Han winning the MHC singles crown while Nelson junior Shanah Denham teamed with her sister, senior Sophie Denham, to win the conference doubles title.
Clackamas also will send junior Anh Khan and senior Heidi Thiele to the Class 6A state tournament in doubles after they finished third at district.
The complete team scoring included: Barlow 14, Central Catholic 13, Clackamas 12, Nelson 7, Centennial 4, David Douglas 4, Gresham 4, Sandy 4, Reynolds 0.
The state tournament is set for May 19-21 at Babette Horenstein Tennis Center in Beaverton. Play begins at 8 a.m. each day.
Han blistered the field in her first district tournament — last year's season was limited to just six weeks due to COVID-19 restrictions — winning five straight matches without losing a game, including a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Barlow senior Natalie Budge in the tournament championship.
Han said she used her aggressive play and successful passing shots to great success in beating Budge for the third straight time this year.
"I feel like I played pretty good. I had to wait a long time to play, but I think my shots were going in pretty good today," Han said, noting that she beat Budge more easily each time they played. "I think I just had to be aggressive and play my game. … This time it was 6-0, 6-0 so I really did cut down on my errors."
Next up, Han — she'll likely be ranked second — will take her shot at the state tournament and believes she can win.
"Obviously, I want to win, but I'm just going to take it one match at a time and focus on my game instead of focusing on the end," she said. "I think if I make a lot of my first serves and hit my forehands and backhands deep, I have a good shot."
In addition to Han and Budge, the MHC also will send Central Catholic senior Sophie Bowman and Central Catholic sophomore Cielo Barroso Espididio — the MHC's third- and fourth-place finishers in singles — to the state tournament.
In doubles, Nelson's Denham sisters put together five straight wins of their own without losing a set, powering to a 6-3, 6-2 win in their semifinal — their closest match of the tournament — and adding a 6-1, 6-2 victory in the championship.
"I felt like Shanah and I played well and were able to maintain a great energy on the court," Sophie Denham said. "Even though winning isn't everything and I value playing well much more, it is really great to win with Shanah and be able to see all our hard work pay off."
"I think that Sophie and I played well," Shanah Denham said. "We have been practicing hard to get to this point and all our hard work has paid off to be able to win district."
In the finale, the Denhams rolled past Barlow seniors Sophie Bier and Kari Moffat while losing just three games. The historic nature of winning a district title in Nelson's first year was not lost on them.
"It is cool to be part of a new school to be able to build new traditions and build a new community," Shanah Denham said. "Everyone … has been amazing and … super nice which makes every day so fun."
"It has been really special to be able to do so well for our team in its first year and be able to make a memorable senior year," Sophie Denham said. "The team is filled with the most amazing people and I can only imagine how much better our team will be in future years."
Next up, the Denhams hope to carry their success on to state.
"My personal goal is to be able to play at my very best for Shanah so I can be the best partner I can be," Sophie Denham said. "I think the key to our success will be to have fun, focus on the ball and to take it one point at a time."
"Since it is Sophie's last year, we want to have fun and enjoy the time we have together," Shanah Denham added. "The key to our success is to have fun and enjoy tennis while competing and challenging ourselves."
Also headed to state from the MHC is the fourth-place doubles team from Sandy, sophomore Adriana Barbee and junior Julie Twist.
Central Catholic and Barlow's boys ruled the court at the Mt. Hood Conference district tournament.
The Rams won the event — held at Glendoveer Golf & Tennis on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, May 9-10 and 12 — with 20 points while Barlow took second at 16. The complete team scoring included: Central Catholic 20, Barlow 16, David Douglas 7, Centennial 6, Clackamas 4, Sandy 4, Gresham 3, Nelson 2, Reynolds 1.
The top finishers among Nelson and Clackamas boys was the Hawks' doubles team of senior Andrew Chan and sophomore Phi Nguyen. Chan and Nguyen went 2-1 in the tournament before losing 6-4, 6-2 in the quarterfinals to Central Catholic sophomore John Morris and freshman Jonah Black.
The top four finishers in both singles and doubles qualified for the Class 6A state tournament, set for May 19-21 at Babette Horenstein Tennis Center in Beaverton. Play begins at 8 a.m. each day.
In singles, the MHC's top four are: senior Gus Krauel of Central Catholic, junior Jonathon Nguyen of David Douglas, senior Isaac Walker of Gresham and sophomore Pace Crimin of Central Catholic.
In doubles, the conference's top four teams are: senior Parker Reno-Zinn and sophomore Nate Ernst of Central Catholic, senior Hudson Pate and sophomore Hayden de la Cruz of Barlow, sophomore John Morris and freshman Jonah Black of Central Catholic, and sophomore Joel Moffat and junior Jake Stump of Barlow.
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