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Montsie Garrido, shown here in a match earlier this season, was the first girl tennis player from HRVHS to qualify for state since 2009.

It was an exciting two days in Redmond last weekend as the Hood River Valley Tennis teams competed in the district championships. While for the majority of both teams, this tournament was their season’s conclusion, it was only a steppingstone for three Eagles. Senior Montsie Garrido finished second in girls singles, and sophomore Vaughn Reardon and junior Ben Fick finished third and fourth in boys singles; all three qualified for the state championship tournament held May 17-18 at the Portland Tennis Center (Friday) and the Tualatin Hills Tennis Center (Saturday).

Garrido’s journey was well-played and undoubtedly a challenge, but her match scores illustrated her dominance in the region. She earned a bye in the first round given her No. 1 seeding, defeated her first opponent 6-3, 6-0 and swept her second opponent 6-0, 6-0 to advance to the semifinals.

“The tournament play was pretty difficult,” said Garrido. “I saw all these different skills and games the girls would do, so I had to adjust my game and think a lot about strategy. I also had to learn to be patient and try different things with the ball.”

With her patience and strategic repertoire, Garrido was able to defeat her semifinals opponent 7-6, 6-2 and advance to the finals to face off against the No. 2 seeded player, Charel Gijzen of The Dalles. Garrido fought hard against Gijzen, but was unable to overcome and lost 6-4, 6-0.

“During the tournament play I was having fun,” said Garrido. “Coach Peg Bogard would always assure me to have fun and play tennis like I know how. She was always there to assure me and keep me focused and confident.”

With her second place finish, Garrido achieved her dream of going to state, one she’d had since freshman year. The last three years had seen her barely miss qualifying; to finally reach her goal was emotionally overwhelming. She became the first girl from HRV to reach state in 10 years. Garrido reflected on those around her who helped her attain this accomplishment.

“I cried. I cried knowing I finally achieved this for my freshman, sophomore and junior self,” said Garrido. “It feels freeing and I feel so proud of myself. I feel like a weight is lifted off my shoulders. Coach Bogard helped me become a better tennis player, mentally and physically. My parents, Carlos Garrido and Maria Castro, were my cheerleaders, and my teammates were my best friends. Every year I had amazing and supportive people on my side.”

Joining Garrido were Reardon and Fick, who entered the singles tournament seeded second and fourth, respectively. Placed on opposite sides of the bracket, the two advanced to the semifinals with relative ease. Reardon earned a bye in the first round, defeated his first opponent 6-0, 6-2 and his second opponent 6-1, 6-0 while Fick was also given a bye, beat his first opponent 6-0, 6-1 and his second opponent 6-2, 6-2. Both boys lost in the semifinals, Reardon falling to Crook County’s Pablo Casado 6-2, 7-6 and Fick to Redmond’s Breaden Brooks 6-0, 6-1. On the upside, the two then got to face off in the third place match, both guaranteed a qualification to state regardless of the result; Reardon won the match 6-2, 6-1. The HRV Boys Tennis team took second overall.

Garrido, Reardon and Fick will head to Portland on Friday for the state tournament. Garrido will play Alyssa Retiz of Ashland in the first round while Reardon will face Bryan Duncan of Thurston and Fick will face Jean de Wouters of Central.

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