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PREP TENNIS: South girls, boys swing past North

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Tornado girls score top singles wins but Panthers sweep in doubles to remain undefeated

The unseasonable cold front still lingering in the Rogue Valley didn’t lend itself to ideal conditions Tuesday in the Southwest Conference girls tennis showdown between North Medford and host South Medford, but the players rose to the challenge.

The Black Tornado shook up its lineup to positive results in the top two singles spots but the Panthers controlled the match from that point on, scoring a 6-2 victory in the crosstown rivalry.

“We were playing under pretty tough conditions,” South Medford head coach Brynt Ross said.

“It’s cold and windy out there, which is not ideal for tennis, but they did well. They played good, kept their heads in the match and were able to pull out some pretty good wins.”

South Medford swept all four doubles matches — dropping a combined six games — to turn the tide on North Medford and improve to 3-0 this season and 2-0 in SWC play.

“I was really, really proud of my doubles teams,” added Ross. “They played really well.”

Minus senior Molly Milligan, who has played in the No. 1 singles spot, the Black Tornado adjusted by bumping senior Jade Yang into the top spot and moving junior Hadley Dunlevy from No. 1 doubles to the No. 2 singles spot and both responded with hard-fought victories.

Yang was able to edge Reese Andersen for a 7-5, 6-3 triumph at No. 1 singles, while Dunlevy prevailed over Metali Mahar at No. 2 singles in a topsy-turvy battle, 7-5, 0-6, 10-8.

The match between Yang and Andersen was impressive, according to Ross, especially given the conditions.

“They both played wonderfully and hit some really good shots,” said the Panther coach. “It just came down to who could outlast who, and Jade ended up winning that one out.”

The contest at No. 2 singles was equally as captivating as it went into a third-set tiebreaker.

“That was a complete mental battle,” said Ross. “Hadley had the edge in the first set and Metali ended up with an early break and that gave her kind of a little bit of a mental edge in the second set. (Mahar) got ahead early in the tiebreak for the third set but just couldn’t hold on. Hadley found her game again at the end, that was a tough match.”

In the third set, Mahar built on the momentum of her one-sided second set to go up 4-1. Dunlevy soon closed the gap, and it was a nail-biter from that point.

“It was just a battle back and forth,” said Ross. “Metali would be up and then Hadley would be up. Hadley ended up getting some late points there on her and that was enough.”

South Medford’s Elena Hill scored a 6-1, 6-0 win over Anika Loeffler in the only other contested singles match, with Abby VonStrahl winning by default.

Emerie Doell and Sarah McAllister set the tone for the Panthers at No. 1 doubles, scoring a 6-0, 6-2 win over the tandem of Shelly Chung and Hayley Chung.

“I’ve got eight seniors on the team so we have a lot of girls that have been around a few years,” said Ross of his team’s undefeated start. “It’s great to see the season kind of pan out this way so far.”

SOUTH MEDFORD 6, NORTH MEDFORD 2

SINGLES: Jade Yang, NM, d. Reese Andersen, 7-5, 6-3; Hadley Dunlevy, NM, d. Metali Mahar, 7-5, 0-6, 10-8; Elena Hill, SM, d. Anika Loeffler, 6-1, 6-0; Abby VonStrahl, SM, won by default.

DOUBLES: Emerie Doell-Sarah McAllister, SM, d. Shelly Chung-Hayley Chung, 6-0, 6-2; Molly Hungerford-Makayla Peterson, SM, d. Emma Almanza-Jenika Arias, 6-3, 6-0; Abby Shuldberg-Rachel Parks, SM, d. Kate Vistaunet-Emily Vistaunet, 6-1, 6-0; Ara Mathis-Aviana Dionisio, SM, d. Sylvia Hernandez-Eirinn Minihan, 6-0, 6-0.

ST. MARY’S 4, ASHLAND 3: Ashland’s Veronica Miller outlasted Hannah Poisson of St. Mary’s for a tiebreak win at No. 1 singles, 8-7 (10-8), to highlight the nonleague matchup at Fichtner-Mainwaring Park.

Pratheeka Weerakoon scored an 8-6 win for the Crusaders over Savannah Witnauer at No. 2 singles in a contest played entirely in pro sets.

SINGLES: Veronica Miller, A, d. Hannah Poisson, 8-7 (10-8); Pratheeka Weerakoon, SM, d. Savannah Witnauer, 8-6; Lexi Mills, SM, d. Sofia Shelton, 8-6; Annabelle Mayerle, SM, d. Talia Vivrett, 8-6.

DOUBLES: Sydney Holdermann-Sunga Kim, SM, d. Sofia Shelton-Talia Vivrett, 8-0; Veronica Miller-Savannah Witnauer, A, d. Sofia Castillo-Sydney Holdermann, 8-5; Abigail Bloom-Emily Hatfield, A, d. Essie Lee-Emily Hauser, 8-3.

Boys

SOUTH MEDFORD 8, NORTH MEDFORD 0: South Medford’s four singles players dropped just one game en route to the Panthers sweeping North Medford at North Medford High.

South Medford’s Andrean Gurov, Josue Maidana and Samuel Shterenberg all won their respective singles matches without dropping a game.

The Panthers’ top doubles team of Samuel Sykes and Elijah Spencer also played well in securing a 6-2, 6-1 win over North’s Robert Doshier and Brian Biliauca.

SINGLES: Andrean Gurov, SM, Nick Doshier, 6-0, 6-0; Josue Maidana, SM, d. Tanner Spence, 6-0, 6-0; Antonio Perez-Cansino, SM, d. Cale Bamford, 6-0, 6-1; Samuel Shterenberg, SM, d. Bryan Cazares-Duncan, 6-0, 6-0.

DOUBLES: Samuel Sykes-Elijah Spencer, SM, d. Robert Doshier-Brian Biliauca, 6-2, 6-1; Jaden Krupp-Tobias Whitley, SM, d. Luke Strickling-John Bui, 6-4, 6-0; Hayden Allen-Andrew Oppermann, SM, d. Gavin Hurt-Carson Richey, 6-0, 6-0; Diego Bencomo-Craig Israelsen, SM, d. Gaspar Rios-Marques Gonzalez, 6-1, 6-1.

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneSouth Medford's Reese Andersen hits a backhand during the first set of the No. 1 singles match against North Medford's Jade Yang at South Medford High School.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneNorth Medford's Jade Yang hits a backhand during the first set of the No. 1 singles match against South Medford's Reese Andersen at South Medford High School.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneSouth Medford's Sarah McAllister hits a forehand during the first set of the No. 1 doubles match at South Medford High School.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneNorth Medford's Hadley Dunlevy hits a backhand during the first set of the No. 2 singles match at South Medford High School.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneSouth Medford's Emerie Doell makes a kill playing the net during the first set of the No. 1 doubles match against North Medford at South Medford High School.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneSouth Medford's Reese Andersen hits a forehand during the first set of the No. 1 singles match against North Medford at South Medford High School.