North boys open strong at state

BEAVERTON — North Medford has been runner-up the past two years at the Class 6A boys state tennis tournament. And the Black Tornado has positioned themselves well again after the opening of the three-day tournament Thursday at the West Hills Racquet Club.

With Black Tornado singles player Colt Hoeptner and the doubles team of Tanner Borg and Austin Schoenlein reaching the quarterfinals, North Medford has put itself in contention for the state championship.

"As a team we're doing fine," said North Medford coach Hal Borg, father of Tanner. "It's a three-team race between Jesuit, Sprague and us. We have to just take care of our matches and we'll be fine."

The third-seeded Hoeptner, who missed last season with a knee injury, had a bye in the first round. Then the North senior won a hard-fought match against junior Alen Suklje of Beaverton, 7-5, 7-5.

"(Hoeptner) was a little tentative in the beginning of the match," said Hal Borg. "It took him a little while to get into his rhythm."

Hoeptner was down 5-4 in the first set but rallied by winning three straight games.

In the second set, the Black Tornado player trailed 3-0, when coach Borg instructed Hoeptner to concentrate on hitting to Suklje's backhand. The strategy worked and Hoeptner dominated the remainder of the set.

Hoeptner plays freshman Scott Goldner of Lake Oswego in today's quarterfinals.

Tanner Borg, who is attempting to win three straight doubles crowns, and new partner Schoenlein also got off to a slow start in a second-round match after receiving an opening-round bye.

Borg won the last two titles with David Longmire, who graduated in 2008.

Tanner Borg and Schoenlein were tied 4-all in the first set against Austin and Trevor Wong of Sprague.

"(Borg and Schoenlein) had quite a few errors in the first set," said the North Medford coach. "They were going for too big a shots."

The North top-seeded doubles team went back to basics and didn't drop another game in posting a 6-4, 6-0 victory. They play Forest Grove's Cameron Rutledge and Jordan Miller in today's quarterfinals.

Black Tornado junior David Tribble defeated Kevin Xiong of Tigard, 6-4, 6-3, in the opening round before falling to fourth-seeded John Brewer of Central Catholic, 6-3, 7-5.

The Grants Pass doubles team of Mickey Allapach and Jordan Van Delden got eliminated in the second round by third seeded Brendan Gibbons and Gram Leahy of Jesuit, 6-0, 6-1. Allapach and Van Delden defeated Jacob Nokes and Jason Nguyen of Tualatin, 6-1, 6-1, in the first round.

Defending state champion Jesuit brought 10 players to the state tournament. But the Crusaders are down to just two doubles team after the opening day.

CLASS 5A — At Beaverton, Ashland junior Jeff Laskos and freshman Chas Bernard got knocked into the consolation bracket after losing a first-round doubles match at West Hills Racquet Club.

Laskos and Bernard lost to Josh Guyer and Tyler Walsh of Summit, 6-3, 6-4.

The Ashland pair play Alin Syed and Neil Alexander of Cleveland in the consolation quarterfinals today.

CLASS 4A/3A/2A/1A — At Eugene, unseeded Jeffrey Morse and Taylor Pena of Cascade Christian won a play-in doubles match at the Eugene Swim & Tennis Club.

Morse and Pena defeated Dan Sizer and Gustav Hansen of Baker, 7-5, 6-3.

The Challenger team faces top-seeded Ryan Nedrow and Jason Stack of Oregon Episcopal in today's first round.

Third-seeded Scott and Eric Morse of Cascade Christian have a first-round match against Griff Schireman and Richard Mills of La Grande today.

St. Mary's junior Danny Kim dropped a play-in match to Ricky Angel of McLoughlin, 6-1, 7-6 (7-1).

Girls

CLASS 6A — At Beaverton, North Medford came up winless in two opening-round matches at Tualatin Hills Tennis Center.

Black Tornado senior Sierra Severson was defeated 6-3, 6-4 by Amy Stewart of Newberg in singles, while the North doubles team of Jaci Abeloe and Carissa Arnesen dropped a three-set match to Kellie Kawasaki and Natalie Smith of West Linn, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.

Severson and Abeloe and Arnesen play in today's consolation bracket.

Grants Pass freshman singles player Kelsey Frey registered a 6-1, 6-3 opening-round win over Carilyn Wheatly of Lincoln. Frey lost to sixth-seeded Danika Tonning of West Linn, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, in the second round.

Lea Ullrich of Grants Pass was defeated in the first round by Sheena Kapur of Lincoln, 6-3, 6-3.

CLASS 4A/3A/2A/1A — At Eugene, the St. Mary's doubles team of senior Pipe Gault and junior Molly Hildreth will face Vanessa Clarke and Stephanie Morris of Molalla in a first-round match today at the Eugene Swim & Tennis Club. The Molalla team advanced with a play-in victory on Thursday.

Hidden Valley's Jayna Lack and Nika Payne lost their play-in match to Macie Leach and Jordana Lewis of Oregon Episcopal, 6-0, 6-0.

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