by: JEFF WILSON/THE PIONEER  - MHS' Simon Sangha returns a shot during Saturday's tourney.Chalk it up to a learning experience.

That is how Simon Sangha and Jacob Rudd felt after Saturday's White Buffalo Invitational boys tennis tournament. And that is exactly what coach Margaret Kincaid wanted for them.

Madras played host to six teams in a round-robin format tourney that saw the team's No. 1 and No. 2 singles and doubles play each other. Each match consisted of seven games and each game won contributed to the overall team scores.

Philomath won the title with 106 points, while Crook County took second with 100. Madras scored 34 points on the day.

"It's another one of those stepping stones of learning," Kincaid said. "A lot of the teams we play here are ones we are going to see at the state tournament. So they are going to see lots of different levels (of play), so some of the guys that aren't at the level of those boys, it will really build their game."

Both Sangha and Rudd are sophomores and playing in the No. 1 and No. 2 singles slots, respectively, was all about gaining experience. And they both understood that.

“It helps me prepare for league,” Sangha said. “The hard hitters (out here), it gives me a feel for how they will be hitting. It’s going to be difficult, but I’m just going to have to practice more.”

Although neither player was able to score a set win on the day, neither seemed particularly down about it.

“It was a pretty good learning experience,” Rudd said. “I got my serve down better. It was just a matter of getting an idea of what the other people (in league) are like, how good they are.”

Sangha said he struggled with his serve all day, which made it hard to score, but added that he enjoyed the experience.

Rudd saw the day as a good break from the usual dual match format where he would play just one match a day. Getting to play six different players of varying skill and style was more his style.

“It’s a really good thing to play all those matches in a row,” Rudd said. “It really helps get your strokes down and stuff. You just try to find some positives in it. (Kincaid) told us she just wanted us to get some experience out of it. I take the positives out of it."

The Buffs are on the road this week at Cascade and North Marion before playing host to Blanchet Catholic Friday.

Madras girls take two matches

The Buffs had their most productive week of the young season, winning a pair of close matches with Crook County and Redmond.

In a makeup match with Redmond Wednesday, the Buffs won three doubles matches to force a 4-4 tie. Tied in the number of sets won, the match was decided by games won, which went in Madras' favor, 75-69.

Winning matches for MHS were Jessica Gonzalez in singles, while the doubles tandems of Wendy Galan-Lorena Alonso, Jessica Alavez-Jasmine Ike-Lopez and Amanda and Maira Olivera all won matches.

The Buffs polished off the week by beating Crook County 5-3 on the strength of four forfeits. Galan and Alonso teamed for the Buffs' lone win on the court.

Madras faced Cascade and North Marion to start the week and will travel to Blanchet Catholic Friday.

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