Wildcats survive vs. Skyhawks by 6-2

Shorthanded Westview improves to 2-1 by racing past Southridge
by: JONATHAN HOUSE, HAWK HITTER — Southridge senior Boonyapa Purt returns a shot against Westview last week.

BEAVERTON - Down several members, the Westview girls tennis team stepped up to earn its second Metro League victory.

Despite missing five varsity players - three of four in singles - the Wildcats adjusted their lineup and ground out a 6-2 win over Southridge on Thursday at Highland Park Middle School.

Westview moved three doubles regulars into its singles lineup yet managed to win three matches in both singles and doubles to improve to 2-1 in Metro matches before losing 7-1 to Beaverton on Monday.

'Coach (Julie Ray) said we all have to play as well as we can,' said Westview senior Rachel Hanna after winning at No. 1 singles. 'We have a lot of JV players, but I think we're doing good.'

Hanna began that effort, beating Skyhawk senior Boonyapa Purt 6-3, 6-2. Both players moved up from No. 2 singles with Purt filling in for freshman sensation Audrey Farr, one of the Northwest's top 16-under players who was in California for a tournament.

After winning the first set, Hanna built a 3-0 lead in the second set. Purt took the next two games but Hanna closed by winning the final three for the victory.

'My groundstrokes are getting better,' Hanna said. 'I was working her around the court and switching it up.'

Hanna covered admirably for senior Abi Sundaram, who was at a Model UN conference, as was Westview's No. 3 and 4 players - junior Anusha Neelam and sophomore Priyanka Vachhani.

Wildcat senior Emma Kitchen picked up a 6-1, 6-0 win over Southridge senior Sylvia Kim in a No. 2 singles match between players usually at No. 1 doubles.

Westview seniors Allison Strickland and Tracy Anastas also made the doubles-to-singles switch. Strickland beat Skyhawk sophomore Shweta Panditrao 6-4, 6-3 at No. 3.

Freshman Reah Luzuriaga earned Southridge's lone singles victory at No. 4, beating Anastas 6-1, 6-4. Skyhawk coach Chuck Eidenschink said he's been impressed with Luzuriaga, who just started playing tennis this spring.

Southridge also won at No. 1 doubles with senior Francis Lee and sophomore Sophia Chou picking up their game after a first set tiebreaker loss to best Westview seniors Tia Secasiu and Sasha Rector 6-7 (7-9), 6-1, 6-2.

The Wildcats came back from a 5-4 deficit to force the tiebreaker then rallied there down 6-3 to take the first set. But the Skyhawks recovered to win the next two sets.

'We found out when we got here that we were playing together,' Chou said. 'We were a little nervous. We knew we could play. We just had to warm up.'

'Like the whole first set,' Lee quipped. 'It took us the first set to get used to each other. Sophie doesn't give up. She's always positive.'

The Wildcats took the final three doubles matches with juniors Vivian Nguyen and Natalie Minas earning a 6-2, 6-4 win at No. 2 doubles. Sophomores Michelle Rector and Lydia Ping went three sets for a 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 victory at No. 3 doubles while sophomore Sarah Shin and freshman Kulani Wellappili did likewise at No. 4, winning 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(7-5).