By ADAM LAPIERRE
News staff writer
May 6, 2006
Matt Byrne has a great shot at playing in the high school Oregon state tennis championships in a couple of weeks. The Hood River Valley High School senior has played to a 12-2 record this season at the number-one singles slot for the Eagles. And with a 5-2 league record going into yesterday’s home match against Hermiston, Byrne should have a good seed at next week’s Intermountain Conference district tournament. At districts, the top four singles and doubles teams advance to state.
At doubles for the Eagles, the number-one slot at districts is expected to be Jimmie Oates and Maurizio Von Flotow. Despite both being freshmen, the two have stepped up this season and proven to be formidable opponents against some older, more experienced competition.
At 3-11 for the season prior to yesterday’s final league match for the Eagles, the boys will look for a few stand-out individual performances for hopes of a post-season.
“We have a core group of about five experienced guys who can go out and compete against most opponents,” Coach Jim Byrne said. “I think a lack of depth on our team is what’s holding us back. We’ve kind of struggled as a team this year, but going into the season we knew we lost six seniors and we had some first-year and inexperienced players … It’s been a real pleasure working with this group. They are enthusiastic and event though some are just beginning, they’re already showing a lot of improvement. It really makes my job easier as a coach when the boys are willing to go out, work hard and enjoy themselves every day.”
The team picked up its second league win of the season this week at Pendleton High School, winning five matches to three against the Buckaroos. Districts are set to start on Thursday in Redmond with a preliminary qualifying round in which the number-four singles and doubles from each school will have to win to stay in the tournament, which will last through the weekend.
HRV vs. Pendleton
No. 1: Matt Byrne, win, 7-6, 6-1
No. 2: Dylan Bauld, loss, 4-6, 1-6
No. 3: Taylor Eaton, loss, 0-6, 0-6
No. 4: Andy Crafts, win, 6-1, 6-4
Jimmie Oates, win, 6-2, 6-4
Maurizio Von Flotow
Joe Sager, loss, 5-7, 5-7
Chris Farro, win, 7-6, 6-2
Caleb Farro, win, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3