The Wildcats 2 ranked Jack Roche made it to the NWOC finals, punches ticket to state tournament

SPOKESMAN PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Wilsonville junior Jack Roche qualified for the state tournament and took second place in the singles bracket. Portland—It was a tough days work for Wilsonville junior Jack Roche, but he did what he needed to in order to get to the state tournament. In the state tournament, he will be joined by fellow Wildcats Zach Brehm and Nathan Ogden who placed third in the Northwest Oregon Conference doubles bracket.

Roche swept his first two opponents in the opening and second round, and bested Hillsboro's Wolkenhauer in two sets, 6-1 and 6-2, to advance to the semifinals. Once there, he overcame Parkrose sophomore Ethan Chang 6-3 and 6-2, and punched his ticket to the tournaments gold medal match.

In two close sets, he lost to eventual tournament champion Nicolas Hey, a junior from La Salle Prep. He lost the first set 6-4 and the second 6-3. Still, with the second place finish he was still guaranteed his place in the state tournament.

"Jack had a fantastic year and worked very hard to put himself in a position to be the NWOC champion," Wilsonville head coach Mark Sundquist said. "Jack's goal was to put himself in a position to earn conference champion and came up short. He played a competitor that plays tennis year round and pushed him to the brink. Our team is very proud of Jack and his growth as a player and as a leader on our team."

Wilsonville's doubles qualifiers Brehm and Ogden made it as far as the semifinals before meeting their match. Against La Salle's Leland and Colin Wong, the Wildcats lost a very close first 7-5, and dropped the second 6-2. In the third place matchup, they triumphed St. Helens Cole Martinson and Dylan Bradford to take the bronze.

"Nate and Zach also had a goal to get to state in doubles," Sundquist said. "Both of them played singles last year and they wanted to fight for our number one doubles spot and get to state. They reached their goal and earned a chance to get to state and see how they compare to other very good doubles teams." The team had a fairly successful regular season, with a record of 10-3. Wilsonville finished second in league behind La Salle. The success achieved was somewhat of a surprise for Sundquist, especially after graduating such good talent last year.

"After finishing 5th in State last year and losing some very good players, I thought it would be a rebuilding year," Sundquist said. "I was surprised at the young talent we had and the team chemistry displayed all season. We only graduate one senior so we will have a very experienced team coming back and a junior varsity team that gathered great experience as well. The future looks very good for Wilsonville Boys Tennis."

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