by: PHOTO BY PHIL HAWKINS - Woodburn coach Tom Lonergan helps show Kimberly Ramirez proper technique on her serving motion during a pre-match practice on July 3.Despite last week’s blazing heat wave, members of the Woodburn High School tennis team braved the sweltering conditions to play three matches on consecutive afternoons to kick off the Bulldogs’ summer tennis season.

The three-week season started on July 1 and gives the Woodburn boys’ and girls’ teams a chance to build on their experiences during the spring season. Although not every member from the tennis teams participates in the voluntary season, enough members from each team participate for Woodburn to put together a co-ed team of singles, doubles and mixed doubles against local rivals from Marion County and the surrounding Willamette Valley.

The Bulldogs’ most recent match came at home on July 3 against Silverton, where Woodburn swept the Silver Foxes in five matches by a score of 40-16.

Unlike in OSAA competition during the school year, summer tennis scores matches by which team or player is the first to get to eight wins, with a two-win margin.

by: PHOTO BY PHIL HAWKINS - Sua Samano returns a serve in her singels match against Silverton, which she won by a score of 8-0.Against Silverton, girls No. 1 singles player Sua Samano swept her match by an 8-0 score to lead the Bulldogs. For the boys, Keyan Robles nearly matched Samano’s effort, scoring an 8-2 win. Together, Samano and Robles have gone undefeated in their first three matches of summer season.

In doubles play, the matches were much more even, but the Bulldogs managed to pull out victories in all three.

Eileen Morales and Kimberly Ramirez won the girls’ doubles match by an 8-5 score. After the match, Woodburn boys tennis coach Tom Lonergan was quick to praise Ramirez’s play this summer.

by: PHOTO BY PHIL HAWKINS - Eileen Morales and Adrian Salinas stand ready to return the serve in their 8-3 win in mixed doubles against Silverton.“Kimberly has been hitting the ball well recently,” said Lonergan. “She’s been doing pretty well.”

In boys doubles, Robert Sanchez and Edgar Lopez played the closest match of the afternoon with an 8-6 victory over their opponents. Rounding out the scores was an 8-3 victory by Adrian Salinas and Eileen Morales in mixed doubles play.

With the win, Salinas improved to 3-0 in games played this season.

The day before, the Bulldogs beat McMinnville’s No. 2 team 36-18 after losing 32-26 against Dallas on July 1.

Woodburn was scheduled to play at Corvallis on Monday followed by another match against McMinnville’s No. 2 team on Tuesday. The Bulldogs finish the week’s play against McMinnville’s No. 1 team on Wednesday.

The start of July sparks a busy month of tennis for the city of Woodburn. In addition to the high school matches taking place on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Lonergan is teaching summer tennis lessons from Tuesday through July 25 — his second session of lessons this summer.

Capping the month is the 36th annual Woodburn Open Tennis Tournament on July 26-28, a long-standing Woodburn institution that Lonergan has been helping to organize since the tournament’s inception in the late ‘70s.

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