Clackamas sophomore Lauren Han wins Class 6A state single title
Clackamas' Lauren Han has gone where no Cavalier has gone before.
Han, a sophomore on the Clackamas girls tennis team, broke through to become the first state singles champion in school history, winning five straight times to claim the Class 6A state crown on Saturday, May 21, at Babette Horenstein Tennis Center in Beaverton.
"It feels really good," Han said after her title match. "I've been waiting for this for such a long time and I'm looking forward to the next two years, too. But this feels really good right now."
Han, who previously won the Mt. Hood Conference championship and entered the 6A tournament as the top seed, did not disappoint. She opened the event with a bye, then mowed down her next four opponents without losing a set.
In order, Han beat Mountainside sophomore Arushi Arora 6-1, 6-1, sixth-seeded Ida B. Wells junior Claudia Barbieri 6-0, 6-0, third-seeded Sprague junior Libby Blair 6-1, 6-3, and in the final, took out second-seeded Westview junior Neena Feldman 6-3, 6-4.
"I think I just hit my shots well and played my game dictating," Han said of her title victory. "That was my gameplan coming into the match."
Despite her top seed and solid play, Han admitted to some nerves in her first state tournament appearance.
"I felt really antsy and nervous coming up to this tournament, but I feel like I performed well and executed what I needed to do," she said.
Han's efforts also helped Clackamas finish third as a team. The complete team scoring at the tournament — held Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 19-21 — included: Westview 25, Jesuit 16, Clackamas 10, Sprague 9.
While Han earned the biggest headlines in singles, West Linn juniors Meg and Kate DeVall — the fourth seeds and Three Rivers League champions — made some noise in doubles. The DeValls rolled through three rounds to reach the tournament semifinals, then eventually finished fourth overall.
"I feel like we played well," said Meg DeVall. "The competition at state was very strong. We're disappointed to have lost in the semifinals, but (we) know where we need to improve for next year."
The DeValls opened with a bye, beat Sherwood's Keeley McCaulley and Emma Douglass 6-0, 6-0 in the second round, then knocked off Lincoln's Jessie Cobban and Cali Rose Karstad 6-3, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.
After that, the West Linn duo was derailed in their semifinal, falling 6-0, 6-3 to Jesuit's second-seeded Mishi Batinkova and Libby Day. And in the third-place match, the DeValls fell 6-0, 6-3 to Westview's eighth-seeded Riho Iijima and Tessa Rozendal.
Despite their late losses, Kate DeVall said she and her sister were proud of their efforts.
"Our key to success is staying positive, keeping our focus and taking the match one point at a time," she said. "Tennis is a combination of physical and mental, success means being prepared for both."
For Lake Oswego, seventh-seeded senior Rebecca Prassas and sophomore Ella Eames played their way into the quarterfinals before falling to Batinkova and Day 6-2, 6-1.
Class 5A tournament
In the Class 5A tourney, La Salle took its place among the state's best, battling to a second-place tie in the team standings and seeing top-seeded freshman Kennedy Harris capture the singles title.
The complete team scoring included: Crescent Valley 16.5, La Salle 8, North Bend 8, Ashland 7.
In the singles draw, Harris — the Northwest Oregon Conference champion — was literally unbeatable, posting four straight wins to claim the state crown, including a 6-1, 6-0 victory over second-seeded Sophie Katz of Crescent Valley in the finale.
"I don't think I played very well during the season, but I stepped it up a level during districts and state," Harris said. "I am very happy about my results because of the work I put in during the tennis season as a whole."
In the process, Harris became the first La Salle singles champion in 41 years and just its second ever, following Maureen Feltz's victory in the AA/A/B tournament in 1981.
Harris opened her tournament with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Churchill senior Kazuki Tanaka, ousted Hillsboro senior Margaret Shively 6-1, 6-1 in her quarterfinal, then battled past Ashland freshman Veronica Miller 7-5, 6-0 in her semifinal.
In doubles play, Wilsonville sophomores Mia Poppe and Katie Scoggins — the second seeds and NWOC champs — won their first two matches to reach the semifinals, then dropped their final two contests to place fourth at state.
After opening with two "Ws," Poppe and Scoggins fell 6-2, 6-4 to third-seeded North Bend seniors Adrianna Frank and Olivia Knutson, then came up short in the third-place match, a 6-2, 6-3 loss to Ridgeview's fourth-seeded junior Rachel Lester and sophomore Sydney Cassaro.
— Austin White contributed to this story
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