Local standouts open state play today

South Medford's Matt Pronesti and Marina Todd weren't part of high school tennis' main stage a year ago, but both will be hoping to make up for lost time when their respective state tournaments begin today.

Pronesti and Todd highlight a list of nine singles players and six doubles pairings from the Rogue Valley aiming to stir things up in the final tournament of the season. The Class 6A and 5A tourneys run through Saturday at the Tualatin Hills Tennis Center and Portland Tennis Center, while the 4A/3A/2A/1A tournament is on the same schedule but action is at the University of Oregon in Eugene.

Pronesti didn't advance to the state tourney last season but came on strong in his sophomore campaign to claim the Southwest Conference singles title last weekend, downing South Eugene's Omeed Balou 6-3, 6-0. Pronesti opens tournament play today as the No. 6 seed against Barlow senior Zach Beaman.

Todd took a hiatus from tennis last season but lost in the 6A girls consolation finals in singles in 2008. The senior dropped her first match of the season in last week's SWC final in a 6-4, 6-1 loss to South Eugene's Ellie Grossman. Todd, whose record is 12-1, opens with West Linn junior Amanda Wagner and could face a formidable obstacle should she advance to the quarterfinals in top-seeded Sophia Bott of Southridge.

Also in 6A boys action, North Medford senior David Tribble will be making his fourth trip to the state tourney and is joined by fellow singles player Chris Krause and doubles partners Robbie Hobbs and Trevor Van Delden of Grants Pass. Tribble, who lost in the second round last year, opens with South Salem senior Hal Gordon.

In 6A girls, Grants Pass' Kelsey Frey opens singles play today against West Salem's Krissy Moore.

The only local player returning to state that earned hardware last year is Cascade Christian sophomore Eric Morse, but the setup is much different this time around. Morse teamed with older brother Scott to claim the 4A/3A/2A/1A doubles title last year but will take on the singles bracket this time around. Morse begins his quest for a second straight title today against Ontario's Alex Kameshige.

Morse's senior brother Jeffrey and his doubles partner, sophomore Taylor Pena, make their return to state Friday against second-seeded Kirby Nelson and Bryce Marvin of Vale. The Morse-Pena tandem lost in the second round last year.

In another anticipated return to state action, St. Mary's junior Maggie Schein will open her bid for the 4A/3A/2A/1A girls singles title Friday as the No. 3 seed. Schein sat out last season after winning the 5A girls consolation singles crown as a freshman in 2008 for Ashland. Schein's first-round opponent will be Baker's Courtney Petry.

Ashland is again bringing quite a contingent to the 5A state tournament, led by four doubles teams and singles players Quincy Brisco and Lara Soliz-Urquizu.

Brisco opens boys singles tournament play against Century's Michael Pham, and the winner gets No. 4 seed Paxton Deuel of Summit. Soliz-Urquizu has a similar rough slate in 5A girls singles, opening with No. 1 seed Katie Edwards of Century.

The Grizzlies' top doubles tandem of Chloe Deckwar and Katie Patton will have a first-round bye, but No. 2 seeds Braiden Johnston and Katie Brown of Crook County are potentially in their path in the quarterfinals.

Ashland's boys team advanced three doubles pairings to the state tourney, with Chas Barnard and Jeff Laskos boasting the most experience after falling in the consolation championship last year. Barnard and Laskos face Crescent Valley's Matt Boggess and Mike Boggess today.

Josh Harris and Min-oh Suh, the District 4 runners-up, open with Josh Church and Trung Tin Tran of Parkrose, while fellow seniors Alex Harris and Nate Harris open with Cleveland's George Clingan and Ben Lucke.

Reach reporter Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, or e-mail khenry@mailtribune.com

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