Ashland’s Rogers takes second at state
BEAVERTON — Rox Rogers fell one win shy of completing a second straight undefeated season as a member of the Ashland boys tennis team, but he certainly wasn’t complaining Saturday.
Rogers teamed with Kai Weston to go undefeated in earning the Class 5A doubles championship one year ago and nearly backed that up with a remarkable singles season this year. The junior standout improved to 19-0 by reaching the 5A state finals on Saturday but couldn’t quite net his 20th win as Summit senior Carter Quigley held Rogers off for a 6-1, 6-1 triumph.
It was Quigley’s third appearance in the state finals and first win, and he hadn’t lost a single game through three wins in the state tourney before matching up with Rogers.
“Carter was just on, there’s nothing else really to it,” said Rogers of Saturday’s final. “Whenever he hit a forehand he usually hit it for a winner and whenever he hit a backhand it was grinding down my backhand to get to his forehand.”
While another state title would have been nice, Rogers had no qualms with finishing runner-up this time around.
“It was super fun this year,” he said. “There was a ton of good players this year as well and I was just lucky to be in the finals and have great matches against a lot of great people up there.”
Complementing Rogers’ effort was Ashland’s 5A doubles team of Owen DiRienzo and Nur Shelton, who rebounded from a tough semifinal loss to the No. 1 seed Friday by upending third-seeded Nathan Liu and Jeff Wang of Crescent Valley in the third-place final Saturday. The fourth-seeded DiRienzo (senior) and Shelton (junior) controlled the match to win 6-2, 6-4.
As a team, Ashland placed third overall with 11 points behind only Summit (24.5) and Crescent Valley (12.5). It was the fourth straight team title for Summit and seventh in the last nine years, and a second straight trophy for the Grizzlies, who finished second last year under head coach Ari Zaslow.
4A/3A/2A/1A TOURNAMENT: At Corvallis, Ian Newton and Quinn Randall of St. Mary’s secured their third straight win after an opening-round tournament loss to finish as the consolation champion in the two-day event.
The Crusader seniors rallied to top Hunter Martin and Abe Cervantes of North Marion in a three-set thriller to win the consolation final, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Newton and Randall had earned their spot in the final by scoring an 8-6 win over Vale’s Noah Carlson and Sam McLaughlin in the earlier semifinal round.