Sherwood girls step up to get tourney victories
BEAVERTON — Sherwood High School junior Abby Ramer and freshman Mandie Jensen rode a pair of dramatic three-set victories to get the girls doubles championship at the Pacific Conference district tournament.
But, as the Lady Bowmen pair opened play at the Class 6A state tournament, the last thing they wanted was to have to go through another pressure-packed three-set battle. And, thanks to their determination, they didn't have to.
Ramer and Jensen, both making their state-tourney debut, opened play at the event by scoring a 6-1, 7-6 (10-8) win over Lincoln's Cate Miller and Camilla Morse in a girls doubles first round match at the Class 6A state tournament, held May 16-18 at the Babette Horenstein Tennis Center.
"We just didn't want to go to a third set," Ramer said after the match. "We didn't want another one."
"This means a lot," Jensen said. "We got to state, and we were like, 'we've got this.'"
It certainly looked that way at the start of the May 16 first-round match. Ramer and Jensen won the first three games of the contest, on their way to getting a 6-1 first-set victory.
But the Lincoln duo came battling back in the second set.
"Our start was amazing. We blew through them," Ramer said. "In the second set, they got a bit better and found our weaknesses. From there, it was really close."
It certainly was.
The teams battled to a 6-6 tie in the second set, sending the set to a tie-breaker. Miller and Morse grabbed a 6-4 lead in the tie-breaker, putting them one point away from sending the match to a third set. But that's when the Sherwood team's determination really kicked in.
"We said we're not going to three sets," Jensen said. "We're going to win it right now, and fight through every point."
The Bowmen duo scored the next two points to tie the score at 6-6. Sherwood finally ended up winning the tie-breaker 10-8 following a strong serve by Jensen, giving the team the opening-match victory.
"At end, I was like, 'oh, thank God — not a third set,'" Ramer said with a laugh.
"On the last point, it was a big relief," Jensen said. "It was really fun. They were good competition."
Later on May 16, Ramer and Jensen fell 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) to West Linn's Alyx Burkhartzmeyer and Caroline Grainger in a second-round match.
Sherwood senior Emily McDonald, the Pacific Conference champion, opened her state tournament by rallying for a 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory over Grants Pass' Elizabeth Williams in a first-round singles match.
"Honestly, I was a little nervous at the beginning, but then I remembered my whole patience thing," McDonald said. "I wanted to keep that in mind, and forget the first set."
After dropping the first set, McDonald came back strong in the next two sets. She finished the contest with a flurry, winning the final four games of the third set to wrap up the victory.
"I forgot about the first set," she said. "I just started over and played my game, hitting my shots and getting my patience back."
In the second round, McDonald fell 6-0, 6-0 against seventh-seeded Grace Maxey from Barlow.
Also for the Sherwood girls at the state tournament, senior Kolleen Peters lost 6-0, 6-0 to sixth-seeded Jensen Barnes of Tualatin in a first-round singles match. Peters then fell 8-1 to Central Catholic's Grace Truong in a consolation bracket pro-set match.
For the Sherwood boys, junior Jamison Guerra, a first-year player, fell 6-1, 6-3 to South Medford's Elliot Hikade in a first-round match. Guerra then lost 8-1 to Central Catholic's Ristan Habtemarian in a consolation bracket contest.
Sherwood sophomore Diego Ciccarelli lost 6-0, 6-1 to Central Catholics' Lucas Gorretta in a first-round match. Ciccarelli then fell 8-1 to Rogue Stone of Clackamas in a consolation bracket match.
The Sherwood girls finished in a tie for 10th place in the team standings with four points. The Jesuit boys and the Sunset girls won the Class 6A state team titles.