Boys tennis team looks for rhythm at district

Following a difficult match Tuesday at Hermiston, the Hood River Valley boys tennis team is trying to pick up the pieces at this weekend’s Intermountain Conference district meet in Redmond.

Entering Friday’s first round, the Eagles were coming off a decisive 7-1 loss to Hermiston on Tuesday, and wins over Pendleton (5-3 on May 1) and The Dalles (8-0 on May 8).

While the young HRV squad has been competitive in its new conference, it also has struggled in other areas, giving coach Shayla Moline a feeling of uncertainty before the district tournament.

“We didn’t do very well against Hermiston, but I thought we were playing really well before that,” she said. “I think a few of our guys have a decent shot at qualifying for state, which would be a nice way for us to finish.”

Sophomore No. 1 Alec Asbridge and junior No. 2 Sean Ritter have been the workhorses on the singles circuit, while the top doubles teams of Erin Herman/Matt Byrne and Cam Emerson/Joseph Broschart have also started to show late-season strength.

Herman and Byrne entered district as the No. 1 team, with Emerson and Broschart close behind them at No. 2.

Meanwhile, sophomore Bruce Chiang and freshman Jimmy Oates teamed up for No. 3 doubles, and junior Patrick Murphy and sophomore Joe Yang were the No. 4 doubles pair.

“Our guys are going to have to fight, but if they play their best tennis, they could turn a few heads at districts,” Moline said.

Moline said that Asbridge and Ritter have the best chances of qualifying for state, but that her top two doubles teams may also make some noise if they earn a favorable draw.

“We won’t have any seeded players, which makes the draw a little up in the air,” she said. “But, as a team, our concentration is getting better, and that should make a difference.”

Rounding out the Eagles’ district lineup were junior Alex Lozano playing No. 3 singles and senior Neil Chiang playing No. 4 singles. For a complete district wrap-up, see the May 21 edition.

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