Sandy boys beat Raiders with juggled lineup
MHC BOYS TENNIS
Tuesday, April 30
TROUTDALE — The Sandy boys tennis team scored a 6-2 win at Reynolds last week, powered by a pair of three-set wins in the last matches off the courts.
Injuries hit the team hard late in the season, forcing Sandy coach Chris Meyers to scramble together a new lineup that included sending senior Talati Palomalu to the singles courts for the first time this season.
He pulled through with a 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 win out of the No. 3 spot, reaching triple match point when he charged his opponent's serve and hit a forehand winner to seal his victory at the first opportunity.
"I started to trust my swing at the end and made some shots," Palomalu said. "Whenever I would see his racquet drop, I knew I could move up and get a kill shot."
Teammate Ethan Chang scored a 6-3, 6-0 win atop the singles ladder.
Sandy's Tri Nguyen and Josh Warner played No. 4 doubles together for the first time and recovered from a rough start to win 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.
"We're new partners so that first set was a little rough, but once we started to figure things out things really took off," Warner said.
Nguyen was patient late in the second set, waiting on a ball to bounce in the front court before delivering and untouchable smash. He would hit a backhand winner at the net to send the match to a third set.
"We were able to move up to the net where we could get more angle and win the points fast," Nguyen said.
The teams were deadlocked early in the decisive set, facing a pivotal deuce point when Nguyen delivered an ace down the middle.
The Sandy duo would go on to serve for the match with Warner crouching down low at the net, while Nguyen pounded fast-paced service balls to the other side.
"There were several times where I could feel the bill of my cap move," Warner said. "But being up in that position gives me the ability to move left or right and keeping the other side guessing."
Late in the match, Warner pounced on a net volley that left his Reynolds foes no chance at a return.
Nguyen secured the victory with an ace on the duo's second match point.
Sandy duo of Nolan Johns and Noah Perry scored a shutout win out of the No. 1 spot.
The Mount Hood Conference district tournament started Monday with Andrew Hokanson and Alex Krempaskey winning their first doubles match 6-1, 2-6, 6-3, while Perry and Palomalu won 6-3, 6-0. In the singles draw, Ethan Chan won his opener 6-0, 6-3 over Barlow's Jonathan Cox.
The district finals will be played Thursday morning at David Douglas High School.
View photos at davidball.smugmug.com.