Girls tennis: Sidney Lowry nabs third in state tourney
Last week, in the Oregon State Championships, Wilsonville junior Sidney Lowry proved she is the top 5A singles player outside of Corvallis and, more specifically, the Kern family.
While Anna Kern and Tessa Kern met in the state finals, Lowry defeated two seeded Summit players to garner third place — the highest finish of her career — May 18-20 at Portland Tennis Center and Tualatin Hills Tennis Center.
Lowry earned her second consecutive state quarterfinals appearance with a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Churchill's Naomi Collins.
But to earn her first-ever state semifinals appearance, she would have to defeat Summit No. 3 seed Autumn Layden.
Lowry and Layden met earlier this year in a preseason match. Layden won the first set while Lowry led the second set before the match was cut short.
In the match, Lowry learned of Layden's consistent and scrappy style of play. The Summit senior would not beat herself and instead coaxes opponents into self-sabotage.
"I learned not to get frustrated when she kept getting all of the balls back and be patient and wait for the right shot," Lowry said.
Like the previous match, Layden gained the advantage early on while Lowry searched for a rhythm and a plan of attack.
Due in part to some uncharacteristic Lowry errors, Layden led 3-2 in the first set.
But Lowry began to dictate play more assertively and consistently thereafter — particularly with her forehand.
Following a strong service game to tie the match 3-3, Lowry won a hard-fought game to break Layden's serve, hit a few impressive winners to take a 5-3 lead and then topped off the first set victory with an inside-out cross-court clean winner and a down-the-line winner to seal a 6-3 win.
"For the first couple games I was a little nervous and so I just rallied with her for awhile and then when I got the right shot and felt comfortable I would dictate and then if I could come into the net or just place the ball so it was a winner," Lowry said.
In the second set, Lowry dominated her service games and broke Layden's serve once to earn another 6-3 set victory.
"I would hit the serve hard and then place it well so I could hit a winner or hit an approach shot and come to the net," Lowry said.
Following the win, Lowry clenched her fists emphatically and bobbed lightly in the air. She was proud of her accomplishment.
"It felt amazing," Lowry said.
Lowry then faced Anna Kern, the No. 1 seed, in the state semifinals. Lowry had lost to Kern 6-1, 6-0 in the 2016 state quarterfinals.
Heading into the match, she knew she needed to pelt shots near the baseline and retrieve tons of booming groundstrokes to have a chance.
But it wasn't to be. Kern, the eventual state champion, won the match 6-1, 6-0 again.
Lowry then played in front of the biggest crowd of her high school career in the third place match at Tualatin Hills Tennis Center Saturday.
"It's kind of nerve-racking to play in front of all of the people but I just have to block that out and just play my game," Lowry said.
Going up against Summit No. 4 seed Paige Dionne, Lowry won the first set 6-3, lost the second set 1-6 and won the third set 7-5 to garner third place.
"Sidney stepped it up that third set and got back to playing her game. It was a fun match to watch," Wilsonville head coach Steven Huynh said.
Wilsonville junior Samantha Monello also competed in the state tourney and lost her opening round match to Anna Kern 6-1, 6-0, defeated Redmond's Greta Harris 8-5 in the consolation first round and lost to Springfield's Tina Davis 8-2 in the consolation semifinals.