The Pacers have high expectations with a loaded group returning

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN - Simone Homedes returns a shot in his straight sets victory against Lake Oswego last week. Homedes is playing No. 1 singles for Lakeridge this year. The Lakeridge boys tennis team is living up to expectations early in the season. Heading into the year, the Pacers knew they could have one of their strongest squads in a long time.

“It's probably the strongest team I've had since I've been here,” coach Steve Bolstad said.

Lakeridge racked up a 6-2 win over Lake Oswego last week and an 8-0 win Monday against West Linn as the team eyes an outright league championship.

Against the Lakers, Lakeridge was dominant at the top three singles positions, anchoring its victory.

Simone Homedes scored a big victory at No. 1 singles 6-1, 6-0 and Matt Stephens made quick work of his opponent at No. 2 6-0, 6-0.

At third singles, freshman Emmett Moore won 6-0, 6-2.

However, Lake Oswego made sure it wouldn't be a sweep in singles as freshman Cade Peebles won 6-3, 7-6.

In doubles, the top of Lakeridge's line-up carried the afternoon as well. The No. 2 team of Bruno Homedes and Russell Risenhoover, a transfer from West Linn, won 6-2, 6-1.

That pairing figures to be one of the best in the state this year as the Homedes brothers were district champions last season.

Adam Bartlett and Justin Jones also scored a straight sets victory 6-1, 7-6.

At third doubles, Lakeridge's Cameron Loren and Andrew Liu won the most competitive match of the day, ousting Lake Oswego's Evens Stephenson and Arijah Hajari 6-7, 6-4, 6-4.

“We've been working a lot on our doubles strategy because that's where matches are won and lost,” Bolstad said.

Again, Lake Oswego avoided a sweep in doubles when the team of Kelly Shannon and Kirk Dyer won 6-2, 7-5.

Lakeridge hopes to continue its success in the Three Rivers League and knows it will receive a strong challenge for the district title from Grant.

“A league title is definitely not out of the question and the boys have whispered about competing at state,” Bolstad said.

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