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Barlow emerges as league's final unbeaten team

BOYS TENNIS - Pair of three-set wins spark Bruins to the 6-1 victory over Centennial
by: David Ball, Barlow's Sam Box goes into the air for a return at the net during a straight-set win in the No. 4 doubles match Tuesday against Centennial.

Barlow emerged as the only unbeaten team left in the Mount Hood Conference after a convincing 6-1 boys tennis win at Centennial on Tuesday, April 24.

The Bruins set the tone early when Kevin Sayson earned a 6-3, 6-1 win over Centennial's Scott Uyeda in the No. 1 singles match. After dropping the opening game of the second set, Sayson reeled off six straight to finish the match.

The highlight came in Game 6 when Uyeda hit a well-disguised drop shot only to watch Sayson sprint up from beyond the baseline and make the return off the edge of his racquet. Still, Uyeda was on the offensive trying for a passing shot through the wide-open right side. But once again, Sayson recovered in time to send a lunging backhand winner past his opponent.

'I put 110 percent into each point,' Sayson said. 'I just kept playing my game and relied on my mental toughness to stay positive.'

The Bruins locked up the team victory by winning a pair of three-set doubles bouts. Tudor Marcu accounted for the Eagles' only win in straight sets at No. 3 singles.

• In other MHC boys action, Central Catholic blew past Reynolds 7-1 and Gresham swept singles play to beat Hood River 5-3.

Look for extended tennis coverage in the Wednesday, April 25, issue of The Outlook.