Photo by Ray Rodriguez
The Dalles tennis player Maggie Corey runs to the net for a return volley in a match played earlier this season. Tuesday in Milton-Freewater, the Riverhawks defeated Mac-Hi by a 6-1 tally in a pro-set match. Jocelyn Hernandez, Yahaira Alvarez and Saray Garcia each scored 8-0 shutout wins to lead the singles, and the top two doubles teams of Cassie Vazquez and Maggie Corey, along with Natalie Varland and Lupita Contreras came away with identical 8-4 victories.
As of Thursday, April 13, 2017
Cassie Vazquez and Maggie Corey have been doubles partners for the last few years and Vazquez feels like it is a matter of time before they vault into the upper echelon of the 5A classification.
They have had some big wins, tough matches and a few close losses through the first half of the season, but The Dalles’ No. 1 tandem powered forward for a big pro-set tennis triumph to lead the Lady Riverhawk netters to a 6-1 road victory over Mac-Hi.
“I think we are getting better and better every time we play,” Vazquez said. “We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and we play off each other well. We have been playing awhile and I think this is year we can work even harder to do well at districts and hopefully make it to state.”
Vazquez and Corey played tough from the onset and went on to defeat Mac-Hi teammates Emily Cuellar and Janelle Martinez by an 8-4 margin in a No. 1 doubles contest.
For Vazquez, the key to putting more wins on the board comes down to the fundamentals of the game.
“If we can serve well and attack the net, we can play with any team,” Vazquez said. “I think it’s important to not make those little mistakes though. If we do make them, we have to know that it is one point at a time and not let the other team get in our heads.”
TD’s No. 2 duo of Natalie Varland and Lupita Contreras followed up with another 8-4 score to trip up Mac-Hi’s Juci Alvarez and Jennifer Robles.
Liz Leon and Jessica Vega stormed past Jadie Jackson and Sarah Odman, 8-4 for TD’s third doubles win in the four played.
The No. 4 team of Rosario Rucoba and Silvia Rodriguez wound up posting the Hawks’ lone loss on the afternoon, ending up in a 4-8 loss at the hands of Evelyn Garcia and Nicole Flores.
On the singles side, Jocelyn Hernandez took advantage of her first opportunity to play at No. 1 singles by vaulting past Karina Saldana by an 8-0 score.
That win seemed to propel the rest of TD’s group.
Yahaira Alvarez added an 8-0 victory of her own against Jessica Hernandez in a No. 2 singles match.
No. 3 newcomer Saray Garcia cruised past Cierra Werhan, 8-0, to complete the three-match singles sweep.
“We were able to get a lot of our younger girls some extra match experience,” said TD head coach Debby Jones. “The girls handled the long three-hour trip well and we came up with a varsity win and picked up two additional junior varsity wins.
“Many of the girls picked up their first wins of the season, so it was a good confidence booster.”
Although The Dalles competed without top players Robin Pashek, Kiana Pielli, and the No. 1 singles team of Abby Minnick and Ellie Trujillo, Vazquez sees a determined group of varsity and junior varsity players that is willing to put in the extra work to keep the program successful over the next couple of years.
“When you have girls that love the sport and are working hard, it makes everyone want to show just as much improvement or even more,” Vazquez said. “We have a young team, but I can see already that those girls will play on varsity and compete really well to help the tennis team.
“It is exciting to see that.”
The Dalles has back-to-back matches scheduled for today and Friday, with Madison coming to town for a non-league match at 4 p.m. on Friday.