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With strong singles players, the Bulldogs are seeing growth from wrestling athletes turned tennis doubles

With a few meets under its belt, the Woodburn boys tennis team already is picking up wins against the competition. Despite losing the most recent outing against Stayton 5-3 on April 7, Woodburn has earned wins against St. Helens and Central 6-2 and 5-0, respectively.

Those team wins and individual victories are impressive considering the team is returning just five starters, according to Woodburn boys tennis coach Tom Lonergan.

"We're really new. We have five returners from last year's team and all our doubles teams, our first doubles team is back from last year, Jesse Gomez and Andries Delgado, but all our other three doubles teams are all new. That matters," he said.

PMG PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Woodburn's Joaquim Lopez defeated Stayton's Ethan Wilson in three sets 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 on April 7.

Against Stayton, the three wins came from singles players Joaquim Lopez, Saul Rubio and Isaiah Garibaldo. The doubles pairings were each defeated in straight sets.

Despite that, Lonergan is seeing improvement from his new cast of doubles players, a group partially composed of kids from an altogether different sporting background.

"It's been about those doubles teams, a lot of them are wrestlers," Lonergan said. "So, they've never played before. It's been an adjustment, but they're getting better, they're getting the hang of it."

PMG PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Woodburn's Isaiah Garibaldo defeated Stayton's Spencer Dirkx in straight sets 6-2, 7-6.

Some of those wrestlers who find themselves duking it out on varsity include Ernie Preciado, Joshua Gara, Diego Paniagua and Ivan Rojas. According to, the doubles teams have won seven matchups over the course of the season. It's all moving in the right direction, according to Lonergan.

"Our doubles teams actually won some matches, they won at Central, and then they won some matches against St. Helens. Those were the first matches that the 2, 3 and 4 doubles teams won, so that was good. Before that they lost to North Marion, they lost at Molalla. But our singles players have been our strength. We have some pretty good singles players. Doubles teams are going to be the ones that need to improve."

The next chance to prove themselves will be in an away meet against Estacada on Tuesday, April 12.

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