Mizuno and Roshak reach the title match at district

by: DAN BROOD - BIG EFFORT -- Tigard High School junior Courtney Roshak reaches for the during the girls doubles championship match Saturday at the Pacific Conference district tournament. McMINNVILLE — It seemed like Ayumi Mizuno and Courtney Roshak had to go through a lot — all in one day.

They had to fight off a furious rally in a marathon match. Then, later on, they tried their best to come up with a shocking rally of their own.

But, when it was all said and done, it seemed like nothing would wipe the smiles from their faces.

Mizuno, a sophomore on the Tigard High School girls tennis team, and Roshak, a Tigard junior, battled their way to the championship match in doubles competition at the Pacific Conference District Tournament, which ended Saturday at Linfield College.

Mizuno and Roshak, first fought off a rally by Tualatin seniors Bella Koessler and Nicole Janes to get a 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3) victory in the tourney semifinals. In the championship match, against Tualatin seniors Mollie Freel and Eloise Loen, Mizuno and Roshak rallied late before falling 6-1, 6-4.

“That was awesome,” Roshak said after the title match.

“It’s incredible,” Mizuno added with a DAN BROOD - FOCUS -- Tigard sophomore Ayumi Mizuno keeps her eye on the ball during Saturday's district tournament doubles championship match.

Roshak and Mizuno will now go on to compete at the Class 6A state tournament. The top four placing singles players and doubles teams from the district tournament advance to the state event, which starts today (Thursday) and runs through Saturday at the Tualatin Hills Tennis Center in Beaverton.

Mizuno and Roshak will open state tourney play today when they face Central Catholic’s Jackie Sheridan and Megan Moran in a first-round match.

“I’m very, very excited about state,” said Roshak, who will be playing at the state tournament for the first time.

Mizuno will be making her second straight appearance in doubles competition at the state tournament.

“We want to win at least one match,” she said.

“We’re going to have to communicate well,” Roshak said.

“And keep a positive attitude,” Mizuno added.

That strategy seemed to work for the Tigard duo at the district tournament. In the semifinals, after splitting the opening two sets, Mizuno and Roshak seemed to take charge, as they jumped to a 5-1 lead in the third set of the match against Koessler and Janes.

But the Tualatin team won the next four games to tie the set at 5-5. Mizuno and Roshak bounced back to win the next game, but Koessler and Janes won the game after that, sending the match to a third-set tiebreaker.

Mizuno and Roshak never trailed in the tiebreaker. They scored four straight points to open up a 6-2 lead on their way to getting the 7-3 victory.

Just a little over an hour later, Mizuno and Roshak fell 6-1 to Freel and Loen in the opening set of the championship match. In the second set, Freel and Loen jumped out to a 5-1 lead and looked to be on their way to an easy win.

But Mizuno and Roshak came roaring back. They won two straight games to cut the lead to 5-3. In the ninth game of the set, Mizuno and Roshak fought off four championship points to win in deuce, cutting the lead to 5-4.

In the 10th game, Mizuno and Roshak withstood another championship point before Freel and Loen were able to close out the 6-1, 6-4 victory.

“We just wanted to have fun and try out best,” Mizuno said.

Other Tigard girls had success at the district tournament. Tigard juniors Caroline Tea and Carrie Williams met in the singles consolation championship match, with Williams getting the win.

Action at the Class 6A state tournament is set to start at 9 a.m. each day.

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