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VC boys to compete against all

Despite playing in the state's toughest district, VC is ready to rumble

BEAVERTON - In one sense, the Valley Catholic boys tennis team has the unenviable position of competing in the same district as two-time defending small-school state champion Oregon Episcopal.

Then again, no better way to determine how the Valiants stack up than to compete against the best. And Valley Catholic intends to do just that - compete.

'I hope that Valley will match up well with OES,' VC coach Michael Kilbury said. 'They are the team to beat.'

The Valiants are no slouches themselves, building a 4-1 non-league record with victories over Class 6A schools Hood River and Reynolds, Class 5A Parkrose, and Molalla. Valley Catholic's only loss came in a 9-8 sets tiebreaker against La Salle

The Valiants swept singles play against La Salle and have a crew capable of consistently doing so throughout the season. Returning state qualifier Andrew Tran, a junior, heads the lineup.

'He has strong groundstrokes and a great serve,' Kilbury said. 'He can get to the net to finish the point but prefers to end the point before doing so.'

After winning his first match at the 2007 state tournament, Tran had the misfortune of facing Cascade Christian's Scott Morse in the second round. Tran lost and Morse went on to win his second straight state title.

Kilbury said he expects Tran to make a return trip to state and be joined by senior teammate Chris Lomartire, VC's No. 2 player.

'Chris is a consistent baseline player,' Kilbury said. 'He has a good serve and has been looking to get to the net more often.'

Freshman Todd Johnson is at No. 3 singles for the Valiants, while junior Per Christensen, an exchange student from Germany, is Valley Catholic's No. 4.

Kilbury sees potential in his doubles teams but is looking for more consistency. Seniors Leo Yamaguchi and Sly Luu are at No. 1, while junior Greg Kang and senior Kevin Park play No. 2.

'Both one and two doubles have lost matches this season, matches that they could have won,' Kilbury said. 'Our top two doubles teams both can play some great points and come up with some amazing shots at any given moment. However, we need to focus on the basics: serve and return and not over-hitting.'

Junior Justin Song and freshman Adam Quandt form VC's No. 3 doubles duo while the fourth spot is still up for grabs.