Madras is second at Buff Invite
First doubles rallies from 0-5 deficit for unbeaten record
Match after tennis match times five had its rewards for the Madras girls in their version of the White Buffalo Invitational on Saturday.
The hosts finished second in the team standings despite giving themselves the toughest draw. Madras played five consecutive matches in the six-team format. Hood River defended its title, winning 16 matches compared to 11 by Madras.
The Buffs' top doubles team of Sam Blann and Amanda Goodson led the way, going undefeated in all five matches. Each match was just one set, the first taking five games the winner with a tiebreaker necessary for a 5-5 score.
Blann and Goodson needed that tiebreaker to stay unbeaten. In their third match, they trailed Hood River 5-0 before rallying. The Buff duo then won the next five games to force a tiebreaker which they won 10-8.
"I'm really proud of them," Madras coach Julie Marino said. "They're doing a better job of staying relaxed during the match and just playing."
That turned out to be the championship match as both teams were unbeaten against everyone else. Hood River followed the Madras loss with a tiebreaker victory against Barlow.
Blann-Goodson opened up with a 6-1 victory against Sisters and defeated Burns 6-0. After the tiebreaker victory, the Buffs beat Crook County 6-3 and Barlow 6-3.
Blann credited talking with the team's improved play in this year's tourney. In 2007, the Buff duo went 4-1, with each a close match.
"We've worked on our communication with each other," Blann said. "We're talking during points about where to be and between points about what to do. That's been the biggest improvement for us."
Top Buff singles player Kat Green had a long start to a long day. She opened with a tiebreaker victory against Sisters' Marisa Tosello, winning 7-3. Green went 3-2 for the day, closing out with a tiebreaker victory against Barlow's Emily Langos (winning 7-5).
"With tiebreakers you have to take it one point at a time," Green said. "I usually pay more attention to what I'm doing since there's fewer points involved."
The senior followed up her first tiebreaker victory with Burns' Kelsee Morefield (6-3).
"I had maybe a 10-minute break to chill out, then it was time to be back on the court," said Green of playing her first two matches.
Madras had a new entry at second singles as Cassi Drew won a close challenge match against Meagan Fine the previous day. Drew went 2-3 with a 6-3 victory against Crook County's Natalie Rich and closed out the tourney with a tiebreaker victory against Barlow's Sari Field by a 7-4 margin.
"I've never played this much tennis before, never," Drew said. "I was nervous, but proud of myself since I worked hard at it. I just took it one point and one game at a time, not trying to think of how many matches I had."
Madras' second doubles team of Kadie Manion and Paige Jorgensen (playing in a stocking cap) went 1-4, hampered by Manion being ill. The Buff duo closed out the tourney with a tiebreaker victory against Barlow (7-3) after a second-round loss to Burns in a tiebreaker by the same score.
Marino said she may revise next year's tourney to include fewer teams but more players. She may invite five teams but have three singles and three doubles entries.
"I wished I'd done that this year," Marino said. "Our top three singles players and top three doubles teams are so close."
This year's tourney was forced to change its format when Estacada opted not to attend due to expected bad weather, Marino said. The Madras coach invited Central, but the Independence team was unable to come due to prior commitments.
Earlier in the week, the Buffs defeated the Redmond junior varsity 8-0 (on Tuesday, April 15) and fell to Bend 6-2 in an Intermountain Conference match (on Thursday).
The IMC season finishes up with matches at The Dalles-Wahtonka on Thursday and at Mountain View on Tuesday, April 29. The IMC district is May 5-6 at The Dalles.
The solid play of Madras' doubles teams continued in a home match against Bend (on Thursday). The Buffs won the first three doubles matches and at fourth singles in the 4-4 match.
Mervyn Garcia and Skyler Sensibaugh at first doubles, Brian Anderson and Trevor Schongalla at second doubles plus Jake Hair and Daniel Serrano at third doubles all won in straight sets. Travis Foster added the fourth-singles victory.
The Madras boys conclude the IMC season by hosting The Dalles-Wahtonka on Thursday and then Mountain View on Tuesday, April 29. The IMC district tourney is May 5-6 at Bend.