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Girls tennis: The tight matches go McMinnvilles way in 6-2 loss, but NHS rebounds to paste Glencoe 8-0

Newberg got off to a slow start in its season opener March 18 at McMinnville, yet improved over the course of the match, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Grizzlies, who prevailed in the two tightest matches of the day to dominate 6-2.

Head coach Jon Halstead was pleased to see his team rebound Thursday, when it whitewashed visiting Glencoe 8-0.

“We got better as the McMinnville match went on,” Halstead said. “That’s a good thing, then to come to a match like (Glencoe) and finish the week off strong like that, I’m happy with how we’re playing.”by: SETH GORDON - Net play - Morgan Johnson lunges for a volley during her 6-1, 6-1 victory over Glencoe's Anna Shapland at No. 4 singles March 20 at Newberg High School. The Tigers swept the Crimson Tide 8-0.

Kassie Grove bested Kelsey Allen 6-1, 6-4 to earn one of Newberg’s two wins versus McMinnville, with No. 2 doubles duo Kaylee Pattullo and Ashley Thompson topping Nayelly Cervera and Kerigan Morton 6-3, 7-5 for the other.

Stepping up to No. 1 singles after the graduation of four-year No. 1 player Courtney Burnett, Sam Russo lost a back-and-forth match 3-6, 6-4, 1-6 to Caitlan Baker, but Halstead said he is confident she will be a solid performer at the top singles flight this year.

Alenka Berales and Maddie Wiltshire should also be a strong pair at No. 1 doubles, but they fell 6-3, 6-7, 6-4 to Samantha Puray and Molly Olsen in the opener.

“Everyone is up one from last year since (Burnett) left, so they’re going to have to step up and step up their game,” Halstead said. “I think we have a decent line-up all the way through. We’ll compete and I think that showed at Mac. When we play Mac here the second time around, I think it will be a different story.”

The Tigers were without Grove and Wiltshire versus the Crimson Tide March 20, so Ashely Johnston moved up from No. 4 to No. 2 singles to help pick up the slack, winning 6-1, 6-3.

Russo picked up her first win of the year 6-1, 6-1 over Olivia Burke and Delaney Spellman stayed at No. 3, taking care of Aiyana Turner 6-4, 6-3.

Stepping in at No. 4 was Morgan Johnson, who played No. 4 doubles versus McMinnville, then took out Anna Shepherd 6-1, 6-1.

In doubles, Berales and Wiltshire were 6-0, 6-1 winners at No. 1, with Pattullo and Thompson carving out a 6-4, 6-3 win at No. 2 and the No. 3 duo of Melissa Lattig and Rachel Lindquist rolling 6-0, 6-0.

Filling in for Johnson and partner Naivit Velasquez at No. 4 were Johanna DeJoria and senior first-year player Karly Knauss, who teamed up for a 6-1, 6-2 victory.

“We’ve been outside for the most part, which is good because in past years (the weather) hasn’t been so good,” Halstead said. “I think we’re getting there. Everyone can recharge their batteries over spring break and come back next week and get after it.”

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