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Ashland's Rogers, Redding's Bahr win Big Al's tennis titles

ASHLAND — One year ago, Rox Rogers and Isabelle Bahr entered their first Big Al’s Tennis Tournament competition at Hunter Park. Rogers lost in the first round in men’s open singles. Bahr lost to the eventual champion — Ashland's Vika O’Brien — in the women’s open quarterfinals.

They both returned with a vengeance Sunday at the 42nd annual Big Al’s tourney. Rogers, a Talent resident and senior at Ashland High, downed Justin Barton of Redding, California, 6-3, 6-4, to capture the men’s open championship.

Soon after that match, Bahr — just 14 years old and a sophomore at Foothill High in Redding — defeated former Southern Oregon University player Katelyn Ross in a grueling 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 match to win the women’s open crown.

You think she has a future in tennis?

Rogers was part of Ashland’s state champion doubles team a year ago and continues on an upward net trajectory. He teamed with Medford’s Evan Schleining to win the 2016 Big Al’s open doubles title. This time around, besides capturing the singles title, he played in the men’s open doubles final with his father Kory Rogers, but No. 1 seeds Schleining and Ari Zaslow of Ashland turned them back by winning the title, 6-4, 6-2.

Rox Rogers said his serves helped him to the singles victory.

“I kept service OK and my serves were pretty good. But my forehand was off,” he said.

Barton thought his forehand game was fine, “but I gave away too many free points with my backhand," he added.

Bahr and teammate Eilis Work of Redding also were within reach of winning this year’s women’s open doubles, but the pair fell short to champions Adele Duvall of Dallas, Texas, and Redding's Elizabeth Kelley in the finals, 2-6, 6-2, 10-7.

Bahr said her aggressiveness from the baseline helped her win the singles championship. Her finals opponent Ross, who has returned to Lake Oswego where she played in high school, said Bahr hit good shots and played well.

“She is a real whippersnapper,” Ross added, lauding Bahr’s skill on the court and referring to their difference in age. Ross was a No. 1 singles and doubles standout for SOU from 2005-2009. She is returning to competition after taking time off to teach the sport.

The singles contenders faced stiff contests in the semifinals. Barton took a tough win over No. 1 seed Mitchell Steadman of Jacksonville, 2-6, 6-3, 10-6 to reach the men’s finals. Ross narrowly defeated Kelsey Bartlett of Central Point, 1-6 , 7-6, 10-5 to reach the women’s finals.

Sunday’s Finals

Men’s Open Singles – Rogers d. Barton, 6-3, 6-4

Men’s Open Doubles – Schleining-Zaslow d. Rogers-Rogers, 6-4, 6-2

Women’s Open Singles – Bahr d. Ross, 6-3, 5-7, 6-1

Women’s Open Doubles – Duvall-Kelley d. Bahr-Work, 2-6, 6-2, 10-7.

NTRP Men’s 3.0 Singles – McCormick d. Del Pardo, 6-2, 7-5

NTRP Men’s 3.5 Singles – Shaw d. Towers, 6-2, 6-0

NTRP Men’s 4.0 Singles – Carrigan d. Rimes, 6-4, 7-6

NTRP Men’s 4.5 Singles – Boles d. Zimmerman, 6-3, 6-4

NTRP 3.0 Women’s Singles – Sprague d. Velasquez, 6-1, 8-6

NTRP 4.0 Women’s Singles – Brown d. Wood, 6-3, 6-1

NTRP 4.5 Women’s Singles – Lee d. Macan, 6-7, 6-1, 10-5

NTRP 4.5 Men’s Doubles – Peterson-Stamper d. Gooding-Neuman, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2

NTRP 4.0 Men’s Doubles – Chavez-Irvine d. Oliveira-Souza, 6-2, 6-1

NTRP 3.5 Men’s Doubles – Elam-Elam d. Burger-Shaw, 6-2, 6-4

NTRP 3.0 Men’s Doubles – Connors-Dooley d. Randall-Tucker, 4-6, 7-6, 10-2

NTRP 4.5 Women’s Doubles – Hart-Snow d. Miller-Twitchell, 6-1, 6-4

NTRP 4.0 Women’s Doubles – Sheadel-Smith d. Collins-White, 6-1, 6-2

NTRP 3.5 Women’s Doubles – Noll-Rosenau d. Cohen-Holt, 6-1, 6-3

NTRP 3.0 Women’s Doubles – Alexander-Elmore d. Towers-Tucker, 6-2, 6-3

NTRP 6.0 Mixed Doubles – Drager-Drager d. Tucker-Tucker, 6-3, 6-3

NTRP 7.0 Mixed Doubles – Elam-Hodges def. Clouse-Daane, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3

NTRP 8.0 Mixed Doubles -- Carrigan-Ramos d. Chavez-Collins, 1-6, 6-0, 6-3

NTRP 9.0 Mixed Doubles – Anderson-Morehead d. Haynes-Snow, 6-4, 6-1

Isabelle Bahr prepares for a backhand return during the women's open finals at Hunter Park. [LARRY STAUTH JR./FOR THE MAIL TRIBUNE]
Rox Rogers returns a volley during the men's open finals in the Big Al's Tennis tournament at Hunter Park in Ashland on Sunday. [LARRY STAUTH JR./FOR THE MAIL TRIBUNE]