TENNIS: Forest Grove boys stay in the league title chase with wins over Canby, McMinnville
by: Chase Allgood, Forest Grove junior Brett Baumgartner winds up to hit a backhand during last Tuesday’s match against Canby.

Forest Grove held serve in the Pacific Conference title chase last week with big wins over Canby and McMinnville.

The Vikings (6-2, 4-2) won a close match against Canby last Tuesday, getting a pair of three-set wins in doubles play to get past the Cougars, 6-3. On Thursday, Forest Grove rolled to a 7-2 triumph over McMinnville.

'The boys have been getting a little better each week,' said Forest Grove head coach Rich Taylor. 'Yes, we are in the conference race, but a lot will depend on how we do against Tigard, Tualatin and Canby.'

The Viks host Tualatin on Thursday and Tigard next Monday, then wrap up the regular season with a road trip to Canby next Wednesday.

'If we run the table we will do no worse than tie for the league title, but if we falter against anyone we will need lots of help from other schools in our league,' Taylor said.

Against Canby last week, the Vikings jumped out to a 4-1 lead after singles victories from Brett Baumgartner, Jordan Miller, Cameron Rutledge and Lucas Oliveira. With the match on the line, the No. 1 doubles team of Harrison Kistler and Spencer Kemp pulled out a 6-3, 6-7, 6-4 victory. Josh Matiaco and Steven Dean added to the final margin with a 6-3, 6-7, 7-6 triumph at No. 3 doubles.

Forest Grove hosted Mac last Thursday and once again seized an early 4-1 lead, getting singles wins from Baumgartner, Miller, Rutledge and Jordan Tanous. There were fewer anxious moments in doubles play, however, as Matiaco and Dean rolled to an easy win. Tyson Heesacker and Serge Schar also won easily at No. 2 doubles, and the duo of Kistler and Kemp pulled out a 6-3, 6-7, 7-5 victory for the final margin.

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