Pamplin Media Group – Madras Tennis Scores Big Wins in Top Places as Districts Approach

Riley Adair continued his strong run on the boys’ side, while Lorena Macias and Natalie Ramos picked up their own big wins.

As the White Buffalo tennis teams kicked off the final championship week before their district tournaments next week, the Madras girls beat Molalla 5-2 on Tuesday May 3, while the men’s team fell to the Indians 5-3.

Madras Girls Sweep Double

Lorena Macias and Natalie Ramos picked up a big win over Mollala’s No. 1 doubles team of Chloe Norgren and Kenzie Clonkey, prevailing in an 8-6, 5-7, 10-8 battle with one of the best pairs in the district. Fellow seniors Christina Thomas and Nancy Schirmer also went to three sets in their second-place Buffs doubles win, beating Kylie Smith and Lily Nauta 7-5, 4-6, 10-7.

Madras wiped the slate clean in the doubles, with No. 3 pair Heidi Sedano and Idaly Romero picking up a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Macy Jones and Emily Hewett while Anna and Jenny Park teamed up to beat Olivia Ehleringer and Ava Nothing 6-4, 6-2. Karman Sangha earned the White Buffalos’ only singles win of the day, beating Mattie Danforth 6-3, 6-0 in third.

Although neither of the Madras girls plan to make the top four seeds in next week’s tournament, the team’s top two doubles teams – Macias/Ramos and Schirmer/Thomas – could make runs from black horses in their slice. Singles success might be harder to come by, but it should be noted that Sangha are 2-0 in league matches, albeit outside of the No.3 position.

District 2’s Special Women’s 4A/3A/2A/1A Tennis Tournament will likely come down to a pair of runners-up on the singles side as the sisters’ Juhree Kizziar is 12-0 on the year while Bailey Bell of Philomath is 11-1. record. Kizziar is Oregon State’s No. 2 player – regardless of rank – according to rankings on Bell, meanwhile, is ranked No. 7 statewide. These two haven’t met this season; however, a meeting in the District Championship game seems likely at this point. Probably the best challenger to crush this party would be Stayton rookie Laina Atiyeh, who is ranked No. 33 and has a 6-2 record on the year.

On the doubles side, the Cascade duo of senior Marilyn Suelzle and junior Ariel Tobiasson is currently ranked as the sixth-best doubles team in the state. These two are 10-1 this year, their only loss being a non-league match against eighth-ranked doubles team Silverton. Suelzle and Tobiasson easily beat the district’s second-best couple, Philomath’s Phoebe Dodson and K Bacho, in a match on Tuesday, May 3.

PMG PHOTO: ANDY DIECKHOFF -- Madras senior Riley Adair beat Martin Ruiz de Molalla on Tuesday, May 3, making it four wins in five games heading into the district tournament.  With a win Thursday at Stayton, Adair could secure a top-four seed.

Buffs are strong in singles, but doubles falter

The Madras boys had pretty much the day against the women’s team, winning three of Molalla’s four singles matches while failing to pick up a win in doubles.

Riley Adair, the team’s No. 1 singles player, continued his strong end to the senior season. Adair has now won four of his last five games after beating Martin Ruiz 6-1, 6-2, and he could end up being one of the four seeds in next week’s District Tournament. Fellow senior Leo Olivera also continued a sudden hot streak, claiming his second consecutive victory after starting the year 0-6. Olivera defeated Molalla’s No. 2 singles entry Caden Landis in a three-set match 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. Sophomore Theo Miller moved to 3-2 in league matches after beating third-placed Adam Mendoza-Reynaga 6-0, 6-4. Molalla won by default in the undisputed No. 4 match.

The Buffs were swept in doubles matches, with Toni Hernandez and Cruz Fisher leading the best fight in a 2-6, 6-4, 4-6 loss to Molalla’s No. 2 duo of Dakota Burke and Sennett Grassl . Matias Ruiz Jr. and Julian Santellano also went to three sets in their 6-2, 4-6, 2-6 loss to the No. 3 side of Nicolas Olgoso and Jaime Ortego.

Adair, who is the district’s fifth-highest ranked player and holds the league’s fourth-best record, has the best chance of making a deep run for Madras in the district tournament and securing a spot in the state tournament. In doubles, the young No.1 pair of Fernando Saldana and Keith Charley III could also make some noise, while Hernandez and Fisher will look to regain the form that saw them win three consecutive league matches earlier in the season.

Looking more broadly at the 4A/3A/2A/1A Boys Tennis Special District 2 tournament, Cascade junior Zach Moore is the No. 3 player in the state and is expected to be the overwhelming favorite for next week. Moore is 10-0 this season, and he is coming off a major win over fellow Philomath junior Dawson Beckstead — a top 10 player in the state — on Tuesday, May 3. These two will likely meet in the District Finals, though Adair and Gage Hurst of North Marion (ranked No. 20 in the state) might have something to say about that.

Philomath’s third duo of senior Noah Aynes and junior Theodore Benbow may have looked like the district favorites as they entered the week undefeated, but that honor now likely belongs to the senior Cascade duo of Austin Thatcher and Issac Schnepp. The Cougar pair just beat Aynes and Benbow on Tuesday, giving Cascade another big boost to go along with Moore’s loss to Beckwith. Thatcher and Schnepp have two losses outside the league, but they are yet to lose inside the district.

Madras closes the season with games against Stayton on Thursday May 5. The women’s team will host the Eagles at Madras High School, while the boys will travel to Stayton. Both matches will start at 4 p.m.

Next week, Madras will host the opening rounds of the district tournament on Monday, May 9, with a full day of high school action planned. The boys will be at Estacada for the first rounds on the same day. Then, subsequent rounds will be played in Salem on Thursday and Friday, May 12 and 13, with boys and girls tournaments taking place at Salem Tennis & Swim. The top four setters from each district tournament will qualify for the OSAA 4A/3A/2A/1A Tennis State Championships in Corvallis on Friday and Saturday, May 20-21 at Oregon State University.

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