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South Medford singles player Matt Pronesti was the lone local tennis player to advance to the state championship quarterfinals at the Class 6A level while Ashland had two singles players and one doubles team advance to that point in 5A action Thursday.
Pronesti, seeded No. 1, received an opening-round bye before dominating second-round opponent Collyn Erion of South Salem, 6-1, 6-1. The senior Panther faces Lake Oswego sophomore David Furman in today's quarterfinals. The top six seeds in 6A singles all advanced to the quarterfinals.
In 5A singles action, Ashland sophomore Grant Kahn and freshman Ashley Knecht advanced to the boys and girls quarterfinals, respectively, with gritty efforts on Thursday.
Kahn dropped his first set against Sherwood senior Alec Blomquist 6-0 before regrouping for 6-2 and 6-1 victories to earn a spot in today's quarterfinals against Hood River Valley freshman Ryan Andrews in Beaverton. Fellow Grizzly Michael Montes wasn't as fortunate as he dropped a pigtail match against Colton Wright of Corvallis, 7-5, 6-7 (4), 7-5 and was eliminated.
Knecht had the busiest day of all, outlasting Sherwood senior Jessica Creger 7-6 (5), 6-3 in the pigtail round before securing a 7-6 (6), 3-6, 6-3 thriller over Crescent Valley junior Jin Kwon in the first round. Teammate River Davis suffered a 6-3, 6-3 loss to second-seeded Lindsey Brodeck of Summit to fall into the consolation bracket, and the Ashland junior will play Mountain View's Hayati Wolfenden today.
In 5A girls doubles action, Ashland's fourth-seeded duo of Hanna Greenberg and Vika O'Brien dominated their first-round match against Summit seniors Haley Dodson and Lisa Caine, 6-0, 6-2. The Grizzlies will play Corvallis seniors Hannah Rondeau and Elizabeth Patterson in today's quarterfinals, with the big surprise in their half of the bracket coming when No. 2 seeds Lauren Sibole and Haley Marsh of Marist were upset in the first round by Summit's Hannah Shephard and Morgan DeMeyer.
Ashland's 5A boys doubles team of Carl Gorbett and Jack Thomas was eliminated in the pigtail round when they defaulted against Wilson's Max Calcagno and Josh Lucas.
In other Class 6A boys singles action, Robby Hobbs of Grants Pass was a 6-1, 6-3 winner over Anthony Croteau of Newberg in the first round but lost in straight sets to third-seeded Scott Goldner of Lake Oswego.
In doubles, South Medford's team of Jack Delaney and Marius Strack received a bye to the second round, where they were eliminated 6-1, 6-3 by Kevin Phuong and Colin Yamaguchi of Clackamas.
In 6A girls, Grants Pass senior Domi Tortiger lost 6-2, 6-0 in the first round to South Salem's Rachel Herringer and moved to the consolation bracket, with a matchup set today against Tigard's Kristin Perry.
Thursday's action was split between the Tualatin Hills Tennis Center in Beaverton and the Portland Tennis Center.