Boys tennis: Wilsonville halfway to perfect season in NWOC play
Wildcats outscore opponents 48-6 in first six matches
It was a lofty goal, but now it seems more attainable than ever.
The Wilsonville boys tennis team won all six of its matches in the first round of Northwest Oregon Conference play, outscoring its opponents 48-6, and entered the back end with a legitimate chance to make a perfect run through the league.
I am very impressed with our team, fourth-year coach Matt Snyder said. I am seeing improvement across the board in game strategy and overall improvement. This team is halfway towards our preseason goal of going undefeated and is not taking anything for granted.
The Wildcats (8-1, 6-0 in the NWOC) wrapped up the first portion of their regular season with commanding wins over Liberty, Sandy and St. Helens on three-straight days.
Wilsonville 8, LIBERTY 1: Aided by two forfeit victories in doubles play, Wilsonville cruised to an 8-1 win over Liberty on the road April 14.
Wildcats freshman Kyle Andrews won a tough three-set match at No. 1 singles against Falcons senior Tu Pham, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3, pumping his fist on the winning point.
Kyle really showed a lot of grit fighting through tired legs and really sharpened his focus to jump out to a lead and finish strong, Snyder said.
Andrews earned one of Wilsonvilles three points in singles. Ben Scott displayed consistency as he cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 victory on the No. 3 court, and Andrew Adams delivered a 6-1, 6-0 rout at No. 4 as he continues showing progress as a converted doubles player.
He has really been stroking well and has quickly picked up the singles strategy, Snyder said of Adams. I am very excited to see how quickly he is coming on and improving in general.
The Wildcats only loss in singles play came at No. 2, where Mikael Karlsson fell in three sets. He won the first frame and held a 4-1 lead in the second but struggled after a blister on his racket hand popped.
He tried to battle, but the pain and annoyance of the blister seemed to throw him off, Snyder said.
Wilsonville won all three contested doubles matches.
Garrett Wright and Husam Zaidan took care of the No. 1 court, 6-2, 6-4, against a tandem that included two-time state qualifier Shaun Thean.
They played with good focus in the first set and displayed the ability to bounce back from a few bad shots in the second set to pull away, Snyder said.
Quinn Everts and Austin Miller powered their way to a 6-0, 6-0 sweep at No. 2, remaining on task against inferior competition, while sophomore Bricker Like and freshman Aidan Green notched a victory at No. 3.
Im excited about the potential these two have, Snyder said of Like and Green.
WILSONVILLE 7, Sandy 2: In a battle of the leagues two previously unbeaten teams, the Wildcats trounced the Pioneers 7-2 at home April 15 in the continuation of a match that was postponed due to inclement weather when the schools met earlier in the season.
This was a huge match for us, Snyder said. We went into it with about as focused a mindset as I have seen this year.
Wilsonvilles doubles lineup dominated Sandy, taking all five matches in straight sets.
Wright and Zaidan won 6-3, 6-1 on the top court, Karlsson and Scott snagged a 6-1, 6-0 decision on the second court and Everts and Miller delivered at No. 3 with a 6-2, 6-1 score.
No. 4 partners Kody Wilde and Alex Molisani also won 6-2, 6-1, and Chase Eisenbrandt and Charlie Stapleton rounded out the Wildcats effort with a 6-2, 6-4 triumph.
All of our doubles took care of business quickly and with great focus and precision, Snyder said. Every single team made it a point of dominating the net and I thought they did a really good job of dominating the entire match and not let themselves get distracted.
Sam Gomez highlighted Wilsonvilles singles lineup, recovering from a first-set loss on the original date of the match in a 2-6, 7-5, 6-2 comeback victory at No. 4. Andrews won by default at No. 1 because his opponent could not participate due to a scheduling conflict.
Sam Laurin fell at No. 2 to experienced senior Tucker Idler, 1-6, 3-6, while Adams played an improved second set in a 1-6, 5-7 setback at No. 3.
WILSONVILLE 9, St. Helens 0: Against a team in rebuilding mode, the Wildcats were virtually unstoppable as they won all nine matches at home April 16.
The afternoon featured an encouraging performance by Laurin and Wilde, who won a challenge match to earn the No. 2 doubles position against the Lions. They delivered with a 6-3, 6-0 victory.
They will be playing together for the rest of the season, and I am looking forward to seeing how they do, Snyder said of Laurin, a converted singles player, and Wilde. There is a lot of potential with these two, and they are probably the next doubles team I have in terms of baseline play and being aggressive from the back.
Wilsonvilles other doubles victories came from Wright and Zaidan (6-0, 6-1), Everts and Miller (6-0, 6-0), Molisani and Gomez (6-0, 6-0) and Eisenbrandt and Stapleton (6-2, 6-0).
The Wildcats sweep in singles play featured Andrews at No. 1 (6-0, 6-0), Karlsson at No. 2 (6-1, 7-5), Scott at No. 3 (6-3, 6-1) and Adams at No. 4 (6-0, 6-1).
We are really staying focused on what is directly in front of us and not getting to far ahead, Snyder said. We knew St. Helens could possibly not present too big of a challenge, but the guys all approached it the same way we approached any other team.
AT A GLANCE
Halfway through its league slate, the Wilsonville boys tennis team is 6-0:
April 2: Wilsonville 8, PARKROSE 1
April 7: WILSONVILLE 8, Milwaukie 1
April 11: WILSONVILLE 8, Sherwood 1
April 14: Wilsonville 8, LIBERTY 1
April 15: WILSONVILLE 7, Sandy 2
April 16: WILSONVILLE 9, St. Helens 0