Pair of doubles teams make quarterfinals

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN Ken Tsuruta, above, and Arthur To were the No. 5 seed in the doubles bracket at the state tennis tournament this year and advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to the No. 4 seed in the tournament.

At the state tennis tournaments last week, both the West Linn boys and girls teams had a doubles team advance to the quarterfinals, putting a cap on very successful seasons for both squads.

In the boys tournament, West Linn's team of Arthur To and Ken Tsuruta earned the fifth seed in the doubles bracket.

After a first-round bye, To and Tsuruta were tested in their first match. The pair took on a strong team from Sprague that had won its first match without dropping a game.

The Lions got off to a slow start, falling in the opening set 6-3 but they weren't ready to finish up their high school careers yet. To and Tsuruta rallied for a close 7-5 win in the second set and kept their momentum going to close out the match 6-3 in the third.

In the quarterfinals, the Lions took on the No. 4 seed which consisted of a pair of singles players from South Salem.

This time it was To and Tsuruta that got off to the quick start. Playing perhaps some of their best tennis of the year, West Linn cruised to a 6-2 win in the opening set.

But the South Salem team found its footing after that and regrouped quickly. The match turned early in the second set as the Saxons won 6-0 and took control. South Salem would then win the third set 6-1 to move on to the semifinals.

West Linn's other qualifying doubles team of Preston Rattle and Micah Wiard lost a tough three-set match in its tournament opener but ground out a win in consolation before being beaten again.

In singles, Ian Risenhoover won his opening match handily 6-1, 6-0 but, in the round of 16, he took on the No. 4 seed Gram Leahy from Jesuit and lost in straight sets.

In the girls tournament, West Linn's top doubles team of Emily Erbin and Natalie Smith also earned a first-round bye and then got to face a familiar opponent.

The Lions took on Lakeridge's Olivia Moore and Stacey Strovink who they had beaten for the district doubles title earlier in the season.

West Linn had its hands full with the solid Pacers team and lost 6-3 in the opening set. But Erbin and Smith played with poise like they have all year. In a very tense match, the West Linn pair won the next two sets 6-4, 6-4 to advance.

The Lions then took on the No. 1 team in the tournament from West Salem and lost in straight sets to who would become this year's state champions.

West Linn's other doubles team of Macie Colonel and Emily Shea also won a match at state, defeating a team from Roseburg 6-3, 6-3 before losing to the tournament's No. 2 seed.