Delighting in doubles success
Girls tennis: Tualatin's Anna Hildebran and Maddie Bachhuber are aiming high this year
TIGARD - Last year, Maddie Bachhuber and Anna Hildebran soared above maybe even their own expectations.
In doing so, they surprised one of the state's best girls tennis doubles teams in the process.
This year, it's unlikely that they'll be able to surprise anyone - and their own expectations are even higher.
Bachhuber, a Tualatin High School senior, and Hildebran, a Tualatin junior, are looking for bigger and better things in doubles competition this year.
'Last year was exciting,' Hildebran said during the Wolves' Pacific Conference match with Tigard, held last Thursday at Tigard High School.
'I think we even surprised ourselves,' Bachhuber added. 'This year, we've set our standards higher.'
It's hard to fault Bachhuber and Hildebran for being optimistic this season after what they accomplished a year ago.
Last year, after finishing second in doubles competition at the Pacific Conference district tournament, the Tualatin duo advanced all the way to the quarterfinal round of the Class 6A state tournament.
On their way to the quarterfinals, they scored a 6-4, 6-3 win over the No. 3-seeded team of Sam Ruffe and Natalie Ruffe from North Medford.
'We got to the quarterfinals last year. The semifinals sound good for this year,' Bachhuber said with a smile. 'Last year, we were just happy to make it there.'
'We're hoping for more now,' Hildebran added.
And, as was the case last year, Bachhuber and Hildebran are hoping for continued improvement as the season goes on.
'We always start off slow,' Hildebran said. 'We're not year-around tennis players.'
'We've gotten better and better as the season goes on,' Bachhuber said.
And, as they both are quick to point out, they work well together as a team.
'I think we're good at working off of each other's strengths and weaknesses,' Bachhuber said.
'And we crack jokes out there,' Hildebran said.
'That helps us when we're stressed,' Bachhuber said.
Bachhuber and Hildebran continued their winning ways at last week's match at Tigard. They scored a 6-0, 6-0 win over Tigard juniors Christine Lam and Victoria Li in No. 1 doubles play.
At No. 2 doubles, Tualatin's Lauren Butz and Erika Welsh bested Tigard's Vickie Uong and Megan Hannon 6-0, 6-1. Tualatin also won at No. 3 doubles, where Becca Koessler and Maggie Bluhm won 6-0, 6-0 over Maddie Meadows and Nicole Mickanen.
At No. 4 doubles, Tualatin's Lauren Janes and Amanda Meyers bested Rachel Bates and Emily McConnell 6-0, 6-0.
In No. 1 singles play, Tualatin senior Marty Pellicano scored a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Tigard senior Kelsey Wahl.
Tualatin senior Leah Hoffee bested Tigard's Kelly Belair 6-0, 6-0 at No. 2 singles. Kelly Grandon scored a 6-1, 6-2 win over Tigard's Sarah Goodman at No. 3 singles. The Wolves' Erica Bocchi bested Kristin Hortsch 6-3, 6-0 at No. 4 singles and, at No. 5 singles, Tualatin's Molly Fisher scored a 6-0, 6-1 win over Jennifer Truong.
With the win, Tualatin moved to 6-0 in Pacific Conference matches in its quest to win an eighth-straight league title. The Tigers fell to 0-5 in league play.
On Friday and Saturday, Tualatin played in the North-South Invitational, an 11-team tourney held at North Medford High School. The Wolves placed third at the event, beating Lincoln 6-2 in the third-place match.
The Tigers and Wolves were both rained out of their scheduled league matches on Tuesday.