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Sandy boys bring a veteran presence to the courts

BOYS TENNIS PREVIEW - Pioneers return No. 1 players in singles and doubles

Despite coming off a disappointing 1-6 season last year, the Pioneers' tennis team is poised for a comeback with what head coach Chris Meyers calls their most talented team in three years.

Leading the charge for the Pioneers will be senior Ethan Claggett, who Meyers says has the chance to compete for a spot at the state tournament this season. Aside from Claggett, the No. 2 singles player will be Scott Myrvold, who has improved his game after a busy off-season on the courts.

Multi-sport athletes Sean Wolfe and Kolby Kansala, return as the No. 1 pairing in the doubles ladder.

'These two will be one of the top doubles teams in the district,' Meyers said, 'Their athleticism, size, and tennis ability is going to make them very tough.'

While Sandy appears to have a lot of talent at the top of their roster, Meyers believes that it is their depth that will be their greatest asset.

'In singles we go six or seven deep with players that actually can compete at the varsity level, and in doubles, we have four teams that all have varsity experience,' he said.

The biggest question mark appears to be the competition. The Pioneers move to the 5A level this season, and Meyers admits that he still doesn't know much about their new rivals.

'I don't know much about our league, but I'm not convinced that there will be a huge difference for us by the move down. There are still going to be a lot of very good players that play tennis year round and the key will be how well the bottom of our rotation is able to compete,' Meyers said.

The Northwest Oregon Conference appears to be a wide-open race with Wilsonville as the early favorite returning three state doubles players from last year. Beyond that all of the league's state qualifiers from 2010 have either graduated or moved to the 6A level.

The Pioneers opened their season with a 5-3 loss to Gresham on Monday, with all three victories coming in doubles' matches.