Beaverton opens the new season at 3-0 and a tie for first in the Metro
by: MILES VANCE, KAPOW – Beaverton’s Krishna Veni smacks a return during her straight-set victory over Southridge’s Michelle Kim in No. 1 singles play at Highland Park Middle School last week.

BEAVERTON - There's not a whole lot more the Beaverton girls tennis team could ask for.

The Beavers, coming off a runner-up finish in 2006, have picked up in 2007 right where they left off last year. Beaverton has won eight straight matches to open the spring season, including its first three Metro League matches to move into an early first-place tie with Jesuit at 3-0.

The Beavers added the second of those three league wins last Thursday when they knocked off Southridge's girls 7-1 under sunny, windy conditions at Highland Park Middle School. They added a 7-1 victory over Westview on Tuesday to go 3-0.

In the win over the Skyhawks (0-3 in Metro play, 2-5 overall), who also fell 6-2 to Sunset on Tuesday, the Beavers swept all four singles matches and took the second, third and fourth doubles matches. Junior Krishna Veni, last year's Class 4A state singles consolation champion, was particularly impressive at No. 1 singles, racing past Southridge senior Michelle Kim 6-0, 6-1.

'I think I played well. She hit some good shots and it was a good match,' Veni said.

Veni said she was also enjoying her new role in the top singles spot this year, despite the obvious challenges of playing in the talented Metro League.

'Everybody's playing well, and playing No. 1, some of the matches are really tough and some of them are OK. It varies,' she said. 'I think I've improved from last year, and I'm hitting the ball a lot better so we'll see what happens. I'm hoping I get further at state this year and district. I'm excited.'

Kim, meanwhile, left her match against Veni frustrated but confident that she would continue to improve over the course of the year.

'I'm just frustrated this year because this is the first year I didn't play year round. I'm not as up to par as I was last year,' Kim said. 'I'm hoping that I can take all these matches as practices instead of taking them all so seriously, but I get really frustrated in games. I don't like to lose. I just hope to polish up for upcoming games, so hopefully, I'll be a lot better by district.'

Beaverton senior Colleen Suklje was equally impressive at second singles where she ousted Southridge senior Boonyapa Purt 6-1, 6-0.

'I think I'm playing pretty good. My shots are working and I'm not missing a lot,' Suklje said. 'I'm just playing my game.'

Suklje, however, added that she was far from satisfied with her overall game.

'I'm working to improve my strength and conditioning because I have the position on my shots and I have my nice shots,' she said. 'I just have to add some power behind them.'

In the other two singles matches, Beaverton got wins from Izzy Director at No. 3 (she beat Southridge's Sophia Chou 6-1, 6-4) and from Lisa Ding at No. 4 (she took out Skyhawk Jill Clausen 6-2, 6-0).

The Skyhawks posted their lone win of the day at first doubles where Sylvia Kim and Megan Funkhouser teamed to take out Beaverton's Monica Nash and Pauline Caprasse 7-5, 6-3, but that was the end of the highlights for Southridge.

Beaverton took the day's remaining three doubles matches, with Anna Berenbeym and Julie Sullivan beating Lara Nassar and Sari Matisoff 6-3, 6-2 at second doubles, Kendall Jackson and Jaimie Waymire knocking off Frances Lee and Joyce Yang 6-2, 7-6 (10-8) at third doubles, and Caitlan Fetzer and Hannah Delaney ousting Monica Rabii and Yossi Segedhossini 6-4, 6-2 at No. 4.

In upcoming matches, Beaverton plays at Jesuit at 4:30 p.m. today (Thursday) and hosts Sunset at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. Southridge, meanwhile, plays at Westview at 4:30 p.m. today, hosts Oregon Episcopal School at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Highland Park, and plays at Aloha at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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