Teamwork is key for Tigard's Mazzeo, Dreves
TIGARD — It's not always easy to be a tennis doubles team, at least a successful one.
It very well may help if you're friends with your partner, and you know each other well.
That could be a good thing if you're in a wild, back-and-forth battle. It certainly seemed to help Tigard High School girls tennis No. 1 doubles team of junior Nicole Mazzeo and freshman Ali Dreves.
The team of Mazzeo and Dreves worked strong together to get a three-set victory in a back-and-forth, momentum-switching contest when the Tigers hosted Sherwood in a Three Rivers League dual match played under very windy conditions Monday at Tigard High School.
"With the wind, it was crazy," Mazzeo said after the No. 1 doubles match. "Momentum kept going back and forth. We had to pull it together at the end."
"We knew we had to get momentum back, and keep each other positive," Dreves added.
While the No. 1 doubles match was a battle, so was the whole contest between the Tigers and Lady Bowmen. Both teams won four matches, so the contest went to a most-sets-won tie-breaker. Sherwood ended up with 11 sets won, to eight for the Tigers, giving the Lady Bowmen the team victory, 4-4 (11-8).
With the win, Sherwood improved to 2-4 in Three Rivers League matches. Tigard, which played the contest without Class 6A defending state singles champion Lizzy Stevens, moved to 4-2 in TRL matches with the setback.
In the No. 1 doubles contest, Mazzeo and Dreves battled the Sherwood duo of senior Josie Rutschman and sophomore Abigail Ramer.
The Tigard duo won the first set 6-2, but, in the second set, Rutschman and Ramer jumped out to a 5-1 lead on their way to getting a 6-3 win, sending the match to a decisive third set.
The Sherwood team carried momentum into the third set, sprinting out to a 3-1 lead. However, Mazzeo and Dreves grabbed momentum in a big way, winning the final five games to get a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 victory.
"We worked well as a team," Mazzeo said. "It really helps knowing each other from volleyball. That really helped me switch to doubles this year (after playing singles last year.)"
"We do a really good job talking," Dreves said. "That really helps out."
Tigard won two other doubles matches. At No. 2 doubles, the Tiger team of seniors Lucy Yusem and Anna Billings scored a 6-3, 6-1 win over Sherwood senior Angelina Conrow and junior Kolleen Peters. At No. 4 doubles, the Tigard team of sophomore Priscila Loza Orozco and freshman Rachel Billings got a 6-3, 0-6, 6-4 win against Sherwood seniors Camryn Gardner and Namoi Gomez.
Tigard also picked up a three-set win in a back-and-forth No. 1 singles match, where senior Natalia Lucas Morato, a foreign exchange student from Spain, got a hard-fought 7-5, 3-6, 6-4 win over Sherwood junior Emily McDonald.
In that match, after McDonald came back strong to win the second set, the Lady Bowmen junior grabbed a 4-3 lead in the third set. But Morato won the next two games, both in deuce, to take a 5-4 lead. She then won the next game to wrap up the three-set win.
However, Sherwood won the other three singles contests. At No. 2 singles, Lady Bowmen junior Rianna Upton got a 6-2, 6-2 win over Tigard senior Nikki Yusem. In the No. 3 singles match, Sherwood senior Analisa DeFrene was a 6-3, 7-5 victor against Tigard junior Emma Parker. At No. 4 singles, Sherwood senior Kailin Oliver got a 6-3, 6-0 win over Tiger sophomore Ellie Dodson.
The Lady Bowmen's other win came at No. 3 doubles, where sophomores Kelsey Murray and Caitlyn Bering got a 6-3, 6-1 win over Tigard junior Leah Swanson and freshman Emily Sverdrup.
Both teams will be back in action on Wednesday. Sherwood will host Newberg in a league match starting at 4 p.m. and Tigard will travel to Lake Oswego for a 4:30 p.m. league contest. On Friday, Tigard will host Forest Grove in a non-league match starting at 4 p.m.
On Monday, Tigard be home to play Lakeridge in a 4 p.m. league match and Sherwood will travel to Glencoe for a 4 p.m. non-league contest. On Wednesday, Sherwood will play at Lakeridge at 4 p.m.