bleheaders aren't just for baseball or softball. They're also part of the Intermountain Conference tennis world.
For the Madras boys' tennis team, hosting Pendleton and then Hermiston last Saturday was good preparation for the upcoming White Buffalo Invitational this Saturday. The Buffs will host seven teams in a revised tournament format starting at 9 a.m.
Teams coming to the tourney are: Cascade, Estacada, Central, Vale, Sisters and Sandy. Just the first and second singles plus first and second doubles teams will participate in a round robin format with pro-set matches. Following the round robin matches will be championship matches in each division.
"Since we have seven teams, we can't have a true round robin tourney," Madras coach Margaret Kincaid said. "It'll be interesting to see how this works out. There's also a diversity of teams from 3A (Vale) to 6A (Sandy)."
The Buffs are also hoping for playable weather. Last year's event was rained out.
Madras also continues its Intermountain Conference season. The Buffs travel to Crook County on Thursday after matches at Summit on Tuesday, April 8 (played after press time).
Pendleton/Hermiston matches: Both visiting teams won 6-2, but not without close matches.
The Buffs' second doubles team of Brian Anderson and Trevor Schongalla went 2-0 to show continued improvement as a first-year team. This is Schongalla's first season of tennis while Anderson played with a different partner last year.
The Buff duo won by 7-6, 7-6 scores against Pendleton, taking the tiebreaker games 8-6 and then 7-2. Against Hermiston, Anderson-Schongalla won 6-3, 6-3.
"They're really coming along," Kincaid said. "They're playing well right now, but I expect even greater things from them by the end of the season."
Madras' top doubles team of Skyler Sensibaugh and Mervyn Garcia had the most court time. The Buffs lost a three setter against Pendleton (4-6, 6-4, 6-4), but then rallied to beat the Hermiston team 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
"Their experience and intelligence showed in the second match," Kincaid said. "They were able to figure out what mental errors were hurting them, plus they communicated better. They also knew losing that first set (against Hermiston) wasn't the end of the match."
In singles action, Daniel Bueno had a three-setter in his morning match against Pendleton. The junior won the first set 6-3, but Buckaroo's Joey Blakely came back to win the next two sets 6-1, 6-2.