Cochrane, Pronesti fall in state finals

Wil Cochrane and Matt Pronesti are former high school teammates who have played with and against each other since they were 10-year-old tennis hopefuls.

The juniors and longtime United States Tennis Association courtmates found themselves about 100 miles apart on Saturday, battling for separate state tennis titles for two different schools.

Both Cochrane and Pronesti lost in state singles championship matches, capping weekend runs that saw each engineer upset after upset before succumbing to top-seeded opponents.

Cochrane, a Phoenix student who played for South Medford last year, was unseeded for the Pirates, while Pronesti — who plays for the Panthers — was seeded sixth.

La Salle Prep's top-seeded Luis Pineda downed Cochrane 6-1, 6-3 in the Class 4A/3A/2A/1A state title match at the University of Oregon in Eugene. Meanwhile, Glencoe senior Stuart Tierney, also seeded first, topped Pronesti 6-3, 6-1 in the 6A finals at Tualatin Hills Tennis Center in Beaverton.

To set the stage, Cochrane beat Catlin Gabel's second-seeded Andrew Salvador 6-2, 6-2 in the semifinals. As the District 3 singles champion — and the only player on the Pirates' newly formed boys tennis team — Cochrane won three consecutive matches in straight sets before running into Pineda, a junior foreign exchange student.

"It was rough," Cochrane said. "(Pineda's) forehand is a little unpredictable. He has an all-around steady, solid game. I felt like if I had a better day it would have been a better match."

Cochrane, who said he wanted to represent his school this spring, added that he did not mind entering the tourney unseeded, feeling neither scorned nor motivated by the lack of attention.

"I didn't mind being unseeded," he said. "I didn't feel like I was an underdog in any of those matches."

Tierney, who has signed with Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., won the final three games of the first set against Pronesti and roared out to a 3-0 lead in the second.

"Matt would have shots that would usually be winners against other people, but Stuart would get it back or get a winner," South head coach McKenzie Hilmer said. "They had some amazing points. The score doesn't really show what the game was like. It was a long match."

Pronesti, who finished the season 12-1, fell in the quarterfinals last spring. He won the Southwest Conference district championship this season and was aiming to become South's first state champion since Jonathan Stark in 1988.

Jesuit won the boys 6A team title with 30 points and the Panthers finished fifth (9). Summit took the 5A trophy with 11.5 points, while Ashland and Marist tied for fifth with six points.

At the 4A/3A/2A/1A level, La Salle Prep won the boys team championship with 18 points. Phoenix and Valley Catholic tied for third (6). On the girls side, Crook County won (14.5), and St. Mary's tied two others for third (6).

Cascade Christian junior doubles partners Eric Morse and Taylor Pena, seeded fourth, defeated North Marion's Sawyer Dady and Jeff Carroll 6-2, 6-4 in the 4A/3A/2A/1A third-place match. The Challengers could not sustain their hot start in the semifinals, falling to La Salle Prep's second-seeded pairing of Maximilian Hey and Xander Hey, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.

The Heys went on to win the state title.

Cleveland doubles partners Graham Gordon and Jonathan Colner beat Ashland's Josh Harris and Grant Kahn 7-5, 4-6, 6-0 in the 5A third-place match.

On the girls side, Catlin Gabel junior Kate Rubinstein, seeded second, beat St. Mary's fourth-seeded senior Maggie Schein, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 in the 4A/3A/2A/1A semifinals. Schein retired in the third set of her third-place match against Valley Catholic's Kaitlyn Lomartire, winning the first set 6-4 before dropping the second 4-6 and then ending play with a 3-2 lead in the third.

At the 5A level, Bend seniors Bryn Oliveira and Hannah Palcic, seeded third, edged Ashland's Hannah Greenberg and River Davis 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-4 in their third-place match.

"They had a lot of deuce games and it was a battle for every point," Ashland head coach Kim Rooklyn said. "Both teams played a very similar game — lots of hard-driven shots and lots of top-spin lobs and great net play. So it was exciting tennis to watch."

Greenberg and Davis are both just freshman.

"They were sad," Rooklyn said. "They were bummed. I think they felt that it was right there for them and they just didn't get it."

In other action, Grants Pass sophomore Robby Hobbs beat Tigard's Eli Potts 6-4, 6-3 to win the 6A boys consolation singles title.

Reach reporter Dan Jones at 541-776-4499, or email

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