Madras girls tennis sends eight to Salem for district tournament
There's no place like home.
Just ask the Madras girls tennis team, which put eight of its players into the next round of the 4A/3A/2A/1A Special District 2 tournament on Monday, May 9.
The White Buffalos, which hosted the event at Madras High School, had three of its four doubles team make it to round two of the championship bracket, with two more advancing in the singles tournament. Those eight will now go to Salem for the later rounds of the district tournament.
The first of the bunch to make it through to the second round was senior Cadence Miller, who prevailed when her opponent from North Marion came down ill and was forced to retire. Miller led 6-5 in the back-and-forth contest at the time the match ended.
"I was winning in the beginning and then I started messing up," said Miller. "We had a pretty similar skill set, so it was down to who could last the longest."
"I wish she could have finished the match," Miller added. "I feel bad."
Miller now advances to face Brooke Harper, the No. 2 singles player from Sisters. She is focusing on being more confident in her serve, as well as replacing the grip tape on her racket, which started to come off during the match.
Next across the finish line was the sister act of Anna and Jenny Park, who added at least another day to their season — the last in which they will be able to compete together in high school, since Anna is a senior. The Parks took down Avery Mannix and Rori Bentz of Stayton in 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 comeback victory.
"It wouldn't have been that long of a game if we had just stopped bickering," joked Jenny after the match. She and Anna explained that the pressure of districts may have gotten to them a little.
"We were just making simple mistakes," added Anna, who noted that they were also plagued by the same thing in their qualifier match, a pro-set match which they won 8-5. Of course, in true sisterly fashion, they argued about the final score for a minute before settling on the right answer.
They will now face the top duo in the district in the next round, going up against the Cascade team of Ariel Tobiasson and Marilyn Suelzle. In order to score a big upset, the Parks will need to get on the same page and get out to an early start on Thursday.
"I think our goal should be to start strong and finish strong," said Anna. "I know we can, so we just need to get past the mental part."
Another doubles duo that is looking to keep their final ride going is Lorena Macias and Natalie Ramos, two seniors who form the team's No. 1 doubles pair. Macias and Ramos drew a large crowd of MHS students and faculty for their match, which took place right around lunch time — and just steps from the school's interior.
They did not disappoint their fans, either, scoring a 6-3, 6-4 win over Alicia Sola and Victoria Hall of Cascade.
"It kind of made me nervous," admitted Ramos, "but it's nice to hear people cheering for you."
"It makes me nervous," echoed Macias. "People make me nervous. I don't think I play well under pressure, but I guess it worked out today."
"It's great to have the support from our school and our classmates leaving class to come watch," added Ramos.
Now, the pair will take on Quetzalli and Tonalli Carlos of Woodburn in the second round. As for their goal in Salem, Macias and Ramos are keeping it as simple as possible.
"To win," Macias stated bluntly. "That's the goal."
"Win the next game," added Ramos, almost in unison. "And the next one. And the next. Just try to win as many as we can and enjoy our senior year."
The last of the three doubles teams to advance was senior Christina Thomas and sophomore Diamond Amaya, a somewhat unexpected combination. Thomas has spent the year on the doubles court with a number of different partners, but Amaya had almost exclusively played singles until just last week.
This gambit from head coach Lori Stock paid off, though, as Thomas and Amaya cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 victory over River Yeager and Alea Wagner of Estacada in the first round after dominating one of the so-called "pigtail" qualifier rounds in an 8-1 pro-set romp over Hannah Jones and Michelle Larsen of North Marion.
Like the Macias/Ramos duo, Thomas and Amaya will face a Woodburn team in the next round, the Bulldogs' No. 1 pairing of Taylor Hudson and Juliana Cazares.
Finally, Karman Sangha kept her senior season alive with a consolation round victory, Stock reported. The full results of the consolation bracket were not available at press time, but Stock confirmed that Sangha will be making the trip to Salem.
The district tournament will continue at Salem Tennis & Swim on Thursday and Friday, May 12-13. The tournament is scored via a points system run by the district, and the top four scorers in each tournament will advance to the state tournament next week, May 20-21, in Corvallis.
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