by: MATTHEW SHERMAN Reid Martin returns to the Lake Oswego boys tennis team this year and will play No. 1 doubles.

The Lake Oswego boys tennis team is off to a strong start. The Lakers have a pair of early victories against two teams that were expected to give them a strong challenge for the league title this year.

The Lakers scored a narrow win against Grant, beating them 11-8 in sets and then knocked off Lakeridge 5-3 on Tuesday.

Lake Oswego is one of the most experienced teams in the league this season.

Scott Goldner is back as the team's No. 1 singles player. Goldner figures to be one of the elite players in the state and should be in the running for the district title.

Taking on Grant's top player, one of the highest ranked individuals in the state, Goldner went to three sets before falling in a very strong showing.

David Furman will play No. 2 singles for the Lakers, followed by Avinash Sankar at No. 3 and Alex Gatter at No. 4.

Players are still jockeying for position in doubles but the Lakers' No. 1 team this season is Reid Martin and Mitch Mechigian.

"They're good players and just need to learn how to work together. They have a strong chance to make state," coach Rich Taylor said.

At No. 2 doubles is the team of Jack Smith and Owen Mechigian while Spencer Lewis and Will Meier predominantly play at No. 3.

Jeff Knees and Evans Stevenson have solid in the early going at No. 4 doubles.

"We need to find the best people who work well with each other and so we're still figuring things out," Taylor said.

Things will likely fall into place once the Lakers can get a bit more practice time. Currently the team has only had five outdoor practices which has hindered teaching opportunities.

"We're working on positioning and learning to sometimes use a BB gun instead of a cannon. Sometimes we can be a little too aggressive," Taylor said.

Against Lakeridge, Lake Oswego recorded a clean sweep in singles and only losing a handful of games in the process.

The Pacers scored wins at Nos. 1, 2 and 3 doubles but Knees and Stevenson ground out a tough three-set win at No. 4 doubles to seal the win.

West Linn also should pose a significant challenge for the Lakers this year.

"I asked the kids for their goals and they said they wanted to be league and state champions. I think a league title is realistic and we'll see what happens from there," Taylor said.

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