Russell Risenhoover and the team of Mitch Tingey and Craig Wright each take third at districts

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN - Craig Wright returns a shot at this week's district tennis tournament. He and partner Mitch Tingey finished third in the tournament and earned a trip to state.West Linn's boys tennis team wrapped up the regular season with a match for the ages against Lakeridge and then qualified one singles player and one doubles team for state.

The Lions went into last week with a chance to at least tie for the league title if they could top Lake Oswego and Lakeridge for the second time this year.

Against Lake Oswego, West Linn took care of business, winning at 1, 2, and 3 singles in straight ets and pulling out two doubles matches for a 5-3 victory.

Russell Risenhoover, Logan Scott-Deeter and Andre To all put their opponents away convincingly in singles.

West Linn's No. 1 doubles team of Mitch Tingey and Craig Wright squared off against a new Lake Oswego pairing that featured its top singles player and one of its top doubles players.

But Tingey and Wright handled them easily with a straight sets win.

Dakoda Archer and Conner Houlette also scored a straight sets win at third doubles.

Then, against Lakeridge, West Linn switched up its line-up slightly to try and be more competitive in singles, which is the Pacers' strength.

But Lakeridge swept the four singles matches. Risenhoover put up a solid fight at No. 1, falling 6-4, 6-3 and Mark Parashuck lost a tough second set in a tiebreaker.

West Linn was equally dominant in doubles, winning all four matches in straight sets. Tingey and Scott-Deeter won 6-3, 6-4 at No. 1 doubles and Archer and Houlette endured a first-set tiebreaker before cruising in the second set.

When the dust settled, the teams were tied in matches and sets and Lakeridge ended up topping the Lions 71-70 in total games.

Despite the setback, West Linn entered this week's district tournament at Portland Tennis Center motivated.

In singles, Risenhoover earned the No. 3 seed and cruised early on, dropping just two total games in his first three matches.

That was enough to earn him a trip to state. In the semifinals, Risenhoover faced No. 2 seed Dylan King and dropped a tough 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 decision.

Risenhoover would rally for third place with a 6-3, 6-1 win.

In doubles, Tingey and Wright earned the No. 2 seed but faced a tough draw as both Lake Oswego and Lakeridge placed traditional singles players into doubles pairings, making for a loaded bracket.

Tingey and Wright scored easy victories early, dropping just one game in their first three matches.

Then, in the semis, the pairing took on Lakeridge's top two singles players, the Homedes brothers.

Tingey and Wright rolled in the opening set 6-2 but dropped the second set in a tough tiebreaker after going up a break. The Lakeridge pair then won the third set and would win the district title.

Tingye and Wright rallied for a tough 7-6, 7-5 win over Lake Oswego's No. 1 team for third place.

In consolation, West Linn's doubles team of Cameron Minson and Neil Olson rolled to four straight victories after dropping their opening match to win the consolation title.

Risenhoover and Tingey and Wright will compete at state May 16-18.

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