Boys tennis: Wilsonville places fifth in state
Excluding resounding state champions, Wilsonville singles player Jack Roche and doubles team Aidan Green and Kyle Andrews vanquished all opponents at the Oregon Boys Tennis State Championships.
Roche wound up reaching the state quarterfinals while Green and Andrews won the doubles consolation bracket in the tournament at Portland Tennis Center and Tualatin Hills Tennis Center May 18-20.
As a team, the Wildcats placed fifth in state.
Green and Andrews weren't happy when they viewed the state tournament draw.
Despite finishing second in the Northwest Oregon Conference, the duo had to face No. 1 seed Gasparovic and Rutherford of Summit.
The Summit seniors went on to win the state title and lose just three games in the whole tournament — one of which came in their 6-1, 6-0 victory over Green and Andrews in the first round.
Still, Wilsonville head coach Mark Sundquist thought the Wildcats played well in the loss and would fare well in the consolation bracket.
"I didn't think anyone would be able to beat them if they played to their ability," he said.
In the consolation bracket, Green and Andrews faced a pair of familiar opponents. First, they defeated Benson and Carmony of Sandy — who they beat in the semifinals of the district tournament.
Then, they upset McAra and Kansala of Sandy — who they lost to twice during the regular season including in the district title match — 8-6 in the consolation semifinals.
"To beat the two Sandy teams, that was almost more satisfactory for them than winning fifth place," Sundquist said.
In the consolation finals, Green and Andrews upended Crescent Valley's team of Turkisher and Dody 7-5, 6-0 to garner the consolation bracket title.
Sundquist said Andrews was more confident in his volleys than he had been all season during the state tournament and that Green served better than ever.
"They were serving better and with more location and were volleying more aggressively," Sundquist said. "Against Crescent Valley, that's the best those two have played. Kyle was chasing balls down and Aidan was superb at the net."
Sundquist will miss the senior duo — who provided ample leadership this season.
"They're a good happy medium. Aidan is a clown and keeps things light whereas Kyle is more of a hardcore, focused guy. They balance each other really well. Both of their leadership styles complemented each other," Sundquist said.
After qualifying for state for the first time in his career, Roche reached the district quarterfinals via a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Crescent Valley's Todd Meng in the first round.
Sundquist says Roche gradually forced Meng to acquiesce to his preferred style of play featuring long and arduous points. While the first set was close for awhile, Roche dominated the second set.
"He (Meng) was teeing off on Jack's second serve. In the middle, the tide started turning. He started to play Jack's style and Jack was just in better shape. He (Meng) got tired and then got frustrated," Sundquist said.
Roche then lost to Summit's Carter Quigley 6-0, 6-0 in the quarterfinals. Quigley did not lose a single game the whole tournament.
"Jack to his credit, played his heart out. He leaves everything out on the court. He's relentless and that showed. Quigley is just that much better," Sundquist said.
Roche reached the upper echelon of the state tennis landscape despite taking up the sport for the first time a little over a year ago.
Sundquist says Roche can improve his serve and mix in more aggressive play in the future, but that he possesses important intangible qualities.
"He has the mental capacity and conditioning to be very good," Sundquist said.