Olivera cousins place first in dominant fashion
The Madras girls doubles team of Jessica and Erika Olivera became district champs May 9, dominating the finals match in a 6-3, 6-1 victory.
Madras traveled to Black Butte Ranch in Sisters for the district tournament and had several teams compete in both the winners and consolation bracket.
Cousins Jessica and Erika Olivera won their first match of the tournament in two sets May 2, in Estacada, reaching the second round May 6, at Black Butte Ranch.
In the second round, they defeated Davenport/Gatlin, of North Marion, 6-0, 6-0, moving on to the quarterfinals match.
Jessica and Erika were taken by surprise in their match against Brinkman/Donaldson, of Molalla, losing their first set 6-4. The pair needed to win their next two sets to move on to the the semifinals match.
They fought hard and won an extremely close 7-6 victory, after being down 5-2, helping them move one step closer to earning a victory. Erika and Jessica took care of business in the third set, winning 6-2.
"Starting the tournament we were pretty confident because we didn't lose a set all season," Erika Olivera said. "We were matched up with some three and four seeds and became a little lackadaisical, which is on us. The Molalla match tested us because we thought we had the match in the bag already, which we should never think like that."
The No. 1-seeded doubles team, Erika and Jessica reached the semifinals match and played Drill/Schnepp, of Cascade, in the third round of districts May 9. The two looked calm, composed and ready for the last round of districts, easily beating Drill/Schnepp 6-4, 6-2.
In the championship match, Erika and Jessica faced Skinkis/Schell, of Philomath. The two Madras seniors played their best game to date, not giving an inch to Skinkis/Schell.
Erika and Jessica beat the Philomath team 6-3, 6-1, claiming gold and placing first, becoming district champions. The dominant Madras team only lost one set during the entire districts tournament and are heading into the state tournament as the No. 2 seed.
"I think our finals match was the cherry on top in the tournament for us," said Erika Olivera. "I really think we performed at the level we needed to in the final match."
The state tournament will be held in Corvallis, at the Oregon State University tennis complex May 17-18. Competition starts at 8 a.m. but Erika and Jessica will play at 11 a.m., facing Layton Rosenfield and Ellie Nicholson, of Catlin Gabel.
"I expect a lot of good competition at state," Erika Olivera said. "I think every match is going to be like our finals and semifinals matches and there is not going to be an easy game. It will be good for us because we love playing in tough matches like that. We always like to play up and that is something we learned at state last season."
There are 16 doubles teams from the 1A to 4A level competing for the chance to become state champions.
"We learned a lot last season and played some really tough competition at state," Jessica Olivera said. "We just really wanted it and really wanting to win helped us a ton this year. Playing together for four years is starting to hit hard for us, but it felt so good to become district champs and I am really happy."
The Madras doubles team of Natalie Ramos and Lorena Macias made it to the second round of districts, but were eliminated by Moore/Xiong, of Cascade, early in the tournament.
Kelsey Olivera and Elaina Nambo lost their first match of districts and were eliminated from the winners bracket, but flew by all the consolation competition, becoming doubles consolation champions.
In the consolation bracket, they defeated Fairbanks/Juarva, of Philomath, and Aasson/Winter, of Sisters, to reach the consolation semifinals match.
Kelsey Olivera and Nambo faced Kaeb/Trujillo, of Stayton, and easily beat the Stayton doubles team 8-1. In the consolation championship match, Kelsey Olivera and Nambo were matched against Silva/Fitzke, of Sisters.
The Madras doubles team only needed two sets to beat Silva/Fitzke, defeating the two 6-3, 6-4. Kelsey Olivera and Nambo only lost one match the entire district tournament, but did not qualify for state.
Erica Dejardins performed well for the Lady Buffs in the consolation singles bracket. She lost to Emma Nelson, of Philomath, in the first round, but turned around and beat teammate Esme Garcia to reach the consolation quarterfinals match.
She defeated Carissa Jones, of North Marion, in the quarterfinals match and came out on top in the semifinal match, reaching the finals match against Lisel Rutherford, Stayton.
Desjardins played hard, but fell to Rutherford 6-0, 6-3, placing second in the consolation singles bracket.
"They were great and this is the best result I have ever had as a coach," head Madras girls tennis coach Dave Jordan said. "Out of the five girls that were here at Black Butte Ranch, they won all their matches but one, so they did great."
"I am very impressed with Erika's and Jessica's attitude, work ethic and their play," he said. "I think they have a good chance of making some noise at state this year. They were there last year, so they won't be a deer in the headlights. They will do well."