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Claiming victories over Woodburn, Madras, Estacada, Molalla stays relevant in league title picture

FILE PHOTO - Molalla High School logoLast week was a really strong week for the Molalla boys' tennis team. The team overcame Estacada on Tuesday, April 16 by a 5-3 margin, Woodburn 5-3 on Wednesday, April 17, and then downed Madras 6-2 on Thursday, April 18.

The team now sits with a 4-1 record in league competition, and even that one loss was competitive. In what was a draw with Sisters that ultimately ended up going to games counted, Molalla was more than holding its own.

"We are really starting to click," Molalla boys' tennis coach Laurel Roses said.

Against Estacada, No. 1 and 2 singles Eric Jones and Lucas Kendrup picked up crucial wins at the top of the card, as did the No. 1 and 2 doubles pairs of Mason Simpson and Pietro Elia, and Noss Kutsev and Nate Stephens.

"First and second singles and doubles continue to win and play strong," Roses said. "Our fourth doubles brother duo (Matt and Mike Stephens) got together for the first time this year and got their first win.

Against Woodburn, the team faced another stiff challenge but was more than up for it. With the doubles teams sweeping the Bulldogs, Molalla needed just one singles victory to secure the teams win, and handily enough Kendrup was able to do just that with a 2-0 (6-1, 6-3) win over Woodburns No. 2 player.

"They are really strong at singles, so to take a singles match from them gave us the chance to win as a team," Roses said. "Our doubles teams continue to be strong, and I expect that to continue."

Finally, against Madras, Molalla once got the job done. This time it was the singles players that got the crucial victories, sweeping the White Buffaloes in 2-0 shutouts. No. 2 and 4 doubles teams of Kutsev and Stephens, and the Stephens brothers, were the deciding factors.

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