Beaverton's girls race through another strong Metro League campaign
BEAVERTON - In nearly any other league, the Beaverton girls tennis team would be eyeing a title.
And the Beavers still might be with a rematch against Jesuit yesterday (Wednesday after the Valley Times' press deadline) for a share of the Metro championship.
Save a 5-3 loss to the Crusaders, Beaverton has dropped just five of 48 matches in six league duals including a 7-1 win over Westview on Thursday at Beaverton High School.
The Beavers swept singles play in straight sets against the Wildcats to improve to 5-1 in Metro play - 7-1 and 15-2 overall after an 8-0 win over Southridge on Friday and a 6-2 win over Sunset on Monday.
Senior Krishnaveni Subbiah paced the Beaverton's efforts Thursday with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Westview senior Abi Sundaram. Each player banged away from the baseline throughout the match, but the steady Subbiah rarely flinched after losing the match's first game.
'I've been doing that a lot lately: Up 30- or 40-love and lose the point,' said Subbiah, a three-time state qualifier. 'I just needed to stay focused and not check out during the match.'
Subbiah quickly checked back in, sending blistering forehand and backhand shots slicing just over the net. Sundaram returned her fair share, forcing several long rallies before relinquishing the point.
'It was definitely motivating to get the first game,' said Sundaram, who returned for her senior year after taking 2007 off to focus on a demanding class schedule. 'I was close in a lot of games. (She's) very consistent and knows where to hit it at the right time.'
Including Subbiah's putaway into the back left corner after charging the net for the winner on game point of the first set.
Sundaram took a game early in the second set as well but Subbiah closed by winning five straight to finish off the match and improve to 5-2 in league competition.
Subbiah's losses have come to 2007 state runner-up Megan Moore of Jesuit and Southridge standout freshman Audrey Farr. She had a possible matchup with Moore looming and will likely face Sunset's Katie Lorish once more before the district meet May 8-10 at the Tualatin Hills Tennis Center.
Subbiah beat Lorish on Monday in the second round of last year's state tournament before losing in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Rika Mehndiratta of Jesuit. With the graduation of Mehndiratta, Subbiah expects to be part of an interesting district singles bracket that includes herself, Moore, Farr and Lorish.
'It's tough because the Metro League is so competitive,' said Subbiah, the 2005 state consolation runner-up and consolation champ in 2006. 'Getting fourth in the Metro district is different than any other league. My goal has been to do better at state each year so I'm hoping for the semifinals.'
Beaverton's No. 1 doubles team of senior Kristine Hoang and freshman Marina Golias also has their sights set on the state meet and moved closer to a district seed with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Westview's Grace Jo and Emma Kitchen.
While at Gresham High School, Hoang was a three-time state single qualifier. The transfer played No. 3 singles for Beaverton through the season's first half before joining with Golias to go 3-0 in league matches in preparation for districts.
Despite Hoang's move to doubles, Beaverton won all four singles matches against Westview in straight sets. Junior Kathi Heimburger beat Wildcat senior Rachel Hanna 6-0, 6-1 at No. 2. Junior Izzy Director won 6-1, 6-2 at third singles over Anusha Neelam, who will pair with Sundaram to play doubles at districts. Freshman Nicole Hartzog added a 6-1, 6-0 victory against Westview sophomore Priyanka Vachhani at No. 4 singles.
Beaverton's No. 2 doubles team of juniors Kendall Jackson and Jaimie Waymire beat Tia Secasiu and Vivian Nguyen 6-0, 6-2. The Beavers' fourth doubles duo Anna Berenbeym and Lisa Ding won 6-0, 6-1 over Tracy Anastas and Varunika Bhargava.
Westview, which fell to 3-4 in league duals, earned its lone victory at third doubles where seniors Sasha Rector and Allison Strickland beat Hannah Delaney and Julie Sullivan 7-5, 6-4.