PORTLAND — Ashland junior Rox Rogers moved one step closer to a historic moment but his fellow Grizzlies were unable to match him in second-day action at the Class 5A boys tennis state tournament Friday at the Portland Tennis Center.
Rogers, who teamed with Kai Weston to earn the 5A doubles titles last year, remained unbeaten this season in singles play with a pair of wins Friday that secured a spot in the championship finals for the second-seeded standout.
Unfortunately for the Grizzlies, the fourth-seeded doubles pairing of Owen DiRienzo and Nur Shelton came up just shy of their goal after suffering a tough loss to No. 1 seeds Garen Gasparovic and Peter Rutherford of Summit.
Seeking to become the first boys singles state champion in Ashland High history, Rogers put himself in prime position with a pair of dominant showings in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds. Rogers opened Day 2 with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Churchill freshman Alle Banna, then stamped his spot in the finals in impressive fashion with a 6-0, 6-1 win over No. 4 seed Peter Cerdans of Crescent Valley.
In Saturday’s championship final, the 19-0 Rogers will square off against top-seeded senior Carter Quigley of Summit at the Tualatin Hills Tennis Center in Beaverton. Quigley has not dropped a game in winning all three of his singles matches at the state tournament.
DiRienzo and Shelton had to battle through a tough quarterfinals test before reaching the semifinals, with the Grizzly duo edging Summit’s Joshua Marine and Ricky Marine 6-4, 5-7, 6-0. In the semifinals, Gasparovic and Rutherford lived up to their seeding with a 6-0, 6-1 win over DiRienzo and Shelton, who were seeking to become only the second doubles state champions from Ashland since 1978.
DiRienzo and Shelton will square off against No. 3 seeds Nathan Liu and Jeff Wang of Crescent Valley in Saturday’s third-place final.
Ashland is third in the team standings with 10 points, trailing only Summit (20.5) and Crescent Valley (11.5).
4A/3A/2A/1A TOURNAMENT: At Corvallis, St. Mary’s senior Pratheev Weerakoon advanced to the championship quarterfinals before being eliminated in opening-day action at the Oregon State University Tennis Complex.
Weerakoon was dominant in an opening-round 6-1, 6-0 victory over Vale senior Mike Young, but top-seeded Vineet Edupaganti of Oregon Episcopal proved too much in the quarterfinals and scored a 6-0, 6-3 win over Weerakoon.
In doubles action, St. Mary’s top tandem of Ian Newton and Quinn Randall took their opening match to three sets before ultimately coming up short against Cascade’s fourth-seeded pairing of Daniel Suelzle and Yannik Hulbert, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.
In the consolation quarterfinals, Newton and Randall scored an 8-2 win over Jed Kizziar and Jacob Gurney of Sisters and will play the team of Noah Carlson and Sam McLaughlin of Vale in Saturday’s consolation semifinals.
6A TOURNAMENT: At Beaverton, North Medford senior Krissy Ribeiro finished one win shy of the consolation final to wrap up her singles run at the Tualatin Hills Tennis Center.
Ribeiro scored an 8-6 win over Grants Pass sophomore Elizabeth Williams in the consolation quarterfinals but suffered a tough tiebreaker loss to Barlow sophomore Grace Maxey in the ensuing round, 9-8 (4).
4A/3A/2A/1A TOURNAMENT: At Corvallis, Cascade Christian senior Claire Hawkins dropped both her opening-day matches at the Oregon State University Tennis Complex and had her season come to a close.
Hawkins opened the day with a tough 6-2, 7-5 loss to Ontario senior Audrey Vogt and was bounced to the consolation bracket, where she lost 8-3 to Henley sophomore Ellie Mangan in the consolation quarterfinals.