District time here for Buff tennis
Given the cold spring, it hardly seems possible the Intermountain Conference district tennis tournaments are days away.
Yet the calendar says May is coming. For the Madras boys' and girls' tennis players, that means less than a week before district play starts.
The IMC district tourneys are at two locations -- the boys play in Bend and the girls at The Dalles. Both tourneys are Monday and Tuesday, starting at 8 a.m.
Every IMC teams will send four singles entries and four doubles teams (in both the boys' and girls' tourneys). Each entry is guaranteed at least two matches. An opening-round loss means a trip to the single-elimination consolation bracket with the chance to finish seventh or eighth.
When play starts, both IMC tourneys will pare down to the four singles and four doubles entries to the state 5A tournaments. State is May 15-17 at the Tualatin Hills Tennis Center.
A year ago, Madras' top doubles team of Mervyn Garcia and Skyler Sensibaugh finished sixth at their first IMC district tourney. This year, they want to finish at least two spots higher so they play at state.
Garcia-Sensibaugh are 8-3 so far this season, including a nonleague loss to Summit's top team. The Buffs have a chance to avenge that decision in a Thursday IMC match, already postponed twice due to bad weather.
A victory would help the Buff team improve their 2007 seeding when they were sixth. They won their first two matches before falling in the quarterfinals. A win and loss in the consolation medal round followed to leave the Buffs in sixth.
To prepare for district, Garcia and Sensibaugh played nonleague singles matches against Burns foes last week. They both won in straight sets.
"That gave them a good chance to work on their deep cross court shots and their endurance," Madras coach Margaret Kincaid said. "If they can, a lot of doubles players do that during the season."
Madras' second doubles team of Brian Anderson and Trevor Schongalla has a stellar record as well. They are 9-2 overall with a nonleague loss to Summit. Schongalla also tested his singles skills against a Burns foe, losing in a pro set format 9-7.
A pair of Buff teams will be challenging for the third and fourth entries this week. For most of the season, Jake Hair and Daniel Serrano have occupied the third spot.
They will be challenged by Josriel Pasikatan, a singles player out part of the season due to the flu, and his brother Ezra Pasikatan.
In singles, the Buffs have Jon Hutchins in the first position, Jason Garcia at second, Daniel Bueno at third and Kesh Phillips at fourth. Hutchins, Garcia and Bueno are all district veterans.
The boys' district will be at Bend High, Juniper Park and Summit High.
Madras will send a group of district veterans to The Dalles.
The Buffs' top doubles team of Sam Blann and Amanda Goodson opened the 2007 district tourney with a straight sets victory. A loss to the eventual second-place finishers ended their tourney run.
Playing second doubles will be Paige Jorgensen and Kadie Manion with Ana Reynoso and Maria McCool at third doubles.
"Our top three teams have played together all season long," Madras coach Julie Marino said.
At singles, Madras has a pair of district vets. Kat Green is at first singles. The senior has played first singles all season.
The Buffs' other singles spots will be decided by challenges. District vet Meagan Fine and Cassi Drew will challenge for the second spot with the other going as the third singles entry. Each has played second singles this season.
At fourth singles, either Rachelle Herkshan or Stephanie Stovall will represent the Buffs. They will have a challenge match this week. The senior Herkshan has occupied the fourth spot much of this season.
Matches will be played at The Dalles-Wahtonka High courts along with Sorosis Park plus The Dalles Fitness and Court Club.