Freshman standout Ryan Andrews will be the lone player representing Hood River Valley High School at next week’s OSAA high school state tennis championships.
Andrews, the varsity boys’ number-one singles player, went undefeated through the season, earning a second seed at the 5A Special District championship earlier this week. After a first-round bye and two 6-0, 6-0 blowouts against Summit and The Dalles players, Andrews went up against the third-seeded player in the bracket, Chandler Oliviera of Summit. Oliviera won 6-1, 6-1, knocking Andrews into a match against another Summit player for third and fourth place.
The 6-2, 6-1 win gave Andrews a podium finish and a trip to the state tournament next week in Beaverton.
“What a great tournament and experience for a young team,” Coach Jon Hiatt said. “I’m really proud of how they played and how they represented Hood River.”
The boys finished third as a team, with number-two singles Scottie Zeigner — also a freshman — finishing second-best for the Eagles at sixth place.
“I think all our kids finished as well as we expected them to,” Hiatt said. “There’s some tough competition in the league, especially with Summit. We were hoping Ryan would give the Summit kid (Oliviera) a better match in the semifinals, but he struggled to find a rhythm.”
Olivier, seeded third in the tournament, is a favorite to be a top finisher at state. The top dog of the bracket, however, will likely be his teammate, senior and defending state champion Paxton Deuel, who steamrolled through the district bracket without losing a set until the finals, where he polished off Oliviera 6-2, 6-2.
As a team, Summit had a commanding performance, finishing first and third in singles and first, third and fourth in doubles.
The HRVHS girls varsity squad traveled to Sunriver this week for its district championship. With weather living up to the town’s name, the girls finished off their season in fine form. Although nobody qualified for next week’s state tournament, coach Leslie Kerr was pleased with the way everyone played.
“As a team, we ended up in fifth place,” Kerr said. “That result would have been higher if we had gotten Emily (Roberts) and Emilee Ziegner to state. They were so very close.”
The top four singles and doubles finishers advance to state, and the Emily/Emilee duo battled through three long matches in one day to finish with a close 5-7, 5-7 loss in the quarterfinals, bumping them into the consolation bracket and out of the running for a state berth.
“They played three very demanding and exciting matches,” Kerr said. “It was great doubles and could have gone either way in the end but did not turn out to their favor. Everyone played great and should be very proud of their achievements.”
Senior Carly Peterson came out with two come-from-behind wins in the opening rounds against players from Pendleton and Bend. She then hit a wall with the number-one seed and eventual tournament champion Lindsey Brodeck from Summit in the quarterfinals, who won handily at 6-0, 6-1.
Other notable performances were from Frances Burns, who won her first match against Emily Boyden from the Dalles 6-1, 7-6 but lost the second round to the eventual third-place finisher.
Miranda Starr made it to the second round, where she lost a tight match to a Bend player. Naomi Greenwald and Elli Webb made it to the second round but lost to the top seed from Hermiston.
Claire Rawson and Anna Gumperlien lost the first round but followed through with two wins in the consolation bracket to make it to the consolation finals, where they lost 6-0, 7-6.
“We graduated 10 seniors last year, so we had a lot of players who had to step up to a level that they might not have been comfortable with,” Kerr said. “We had our challenges this season, but for the girls who did step up, it pushed them to play better. The great thing at districts is that everyone played at or above the level they were hoping to play. It was a great way to finish the season.”