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A freshman No. 1 singles player leads a solid Lions team

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN - Mitch Tingey is one of West Linn's most experienced varsity players. He returns to the Lions as the squad's No. 2 singles player this year. West Linn's boys tennis team experienced a lot of turnover in the off-season, but the Lions still expect to be competitive in the difficult Three Rivers League.

The Lions have a new No. 1 singles player in freshman Matt Perkins, a tournament player who hopes to stack up against the top competitors in the TRL.

“He's a great sportsman and fits in with the team very well. Our goal is to get him to state,” coach Ward Lewis said.

West Linn is slightly more experienced in singles at the varsity level than in doubles this year as Mitch Tingey returns at No. 2 and Noah Archer is back playing No. 3 singles.

Nick Walker will round out the team's singles roster at No. 4.

In doubles, the team of Yem Alharithi and Conner Houlette will make the leap to the No. 1 spot this year, anchoring that side of the roster.

At No. 2 will be the team of Mitch Coronel and Sean Borne, both of whom played on the varsity squad last year.

Justus Gulbrandson and John Rowan will be the team's No. 3 doubles team to start the season followed by Nathan Minson and Duncan Prince at No. 4.

Will Sato and Sam Watt will also see varsity action for the Lions this season.

The team has gotten in a pair of matches and is trying to get in as much work as possible before the league slate opens.

“We're working hard, but we're making a lot of mistakes against the game right now,” Lewis said.

The Lions fell to perennial powerhouse Sunset 8-0 earlier in the season but rallied to beat Barlow 7-1.

West Linn took on Beaverton Wednesday and will play in a tournament against OES and Summit this weekend.

“We're developing self-discipline and learning how to play smart. It's a steep learning curve this year,” Lewis said.

Grant and Lakeridge are expected to be the favorites in the league this year with Lake Oswego also fielding a very strong team.

“There's a lot of new faces this year but we're optimistic about the future,” Lewis said.

West Linn opens league next Monday against Oregon City.

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