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Vikings hanging around

Tennis - Forest Grove boys stunned by Tualatin's come-from-behind victory, but rebound nicely with a win over Tigard
by: Chase Allgood, Forest Grove’s Serge Schar hits a backhand during last Thursday’s Pacific Conference match against Tualatin. Schar and doubles teammate Tyson Heesacker lost a tough three-set match.

Tualatin shocked Forest Grove at home last Thursday, erasing an early deficit and winning all four doubles matches to claim a 5-4 victory in Pacific Conference boys tennis action, locking up the league title in the process.

The Vikings were able to rally, however, and hold off Tigard 5-4 in windy conditions on Monday to guarantee no worse than a second-place finish in the final league standings.

'Our league has been very competitive throughout the [season] with at least five teams winning or losing matches by one point,' said Forest Grove head coach Rich Taylor.

Last week's loss to Tualatin was tough to swallow, with Forest Grove holding a 4-1 lead through singles play. The Timberwolves stormed back to win all four doubles matches, including a pair of three-set victories, to steal the match from the Vikings.

'It was disappointing that we couldn't win at home, but all the doubles pairs for Tualatin proved they were more agile on the court and beat us across the board,' Taylor said. 'We have not been able to win in the third set nearly as often as we should, giving away match points and break points time and time again.'

The Vikings got singles wins from Brett Baumgartner, Jordan Miller, Jordan Tanous and Cameron Rutledge, but stumbled in doubles play. The toughest losses came at second and fourth doubles. Tualatin's Brock Tillotson and Derek Yagi earned a hard-fought 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 win over Tyson Heesacker and Serge Schar at No. 2 doubles, and the Tualatin duo of David Kerlin and Jered Yagi prevailed 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 over Lucas Oliveira and Max Wilson-Fey at No. 4.

The good news for Forest Grove was that the Tualatin loss didn't seem to carry over to Monday's match with Tigard. The Vikings lost three of the five singles matches but held off the Tigers with three clutch doubles victories.

Heesacker and Schar shook off last week's loss to post a 7-6, 5-7, 6-3 win over David McKay and Jason Hotrsch at No. 2 doubles. The No. 3 duo of Josh Matiaco and Steven Dean, plus the No. 4 tandem of Wilson-Fey and Tony Hodges each prevailed in straight sets to lock down the overall victory for Forest Grove.

Tanous and Rutledge provided the two singles wins for the Vikings. Tanous was a 6-2, 6-3 winner over Pasha Golehstraus at No. 3 singles and Rutledge won 7-5, 6-1 at No. 4 against Cole Walker.

Forest Grove will travel to Canby Wednesday for each team's final regular season match.