Photo by Ray Rodriguez
The Dalles girls’ tennis player Pearl Guzman steadies herself for a return shot in doubles action this season at The Dalles High School. On Thursday, Guzman and the Riverhawks squared off against Pendleton and came away with an 8-0 loss, as the team scored 36 set points. TD’s No. 2 doubles team of Guzman and Mireya Huila had the closest match of the day, losing by marks of 5-7 and 6-7 versus Becca Walker and Larisse Chambers.
As of Friday, April 13, 2018
The Dalles girls’ tennis team hit the courts against two adversaries – Pendleton and Mother Nature – Thursday in a league match held at Pendleton High School, which the Buckaroos won by an 8-0 final tally.
“It was an absolutely miserable day to play tennis,” The Dalles head coach Debby Jones said. “The howling, steady 35-mile-an hour winds kept the temperatures in the mid-40s, making it tough for every player. We were already down two varsity players, so it caused just about everyone to have to play up a position.”
Of the eight matches, the Riverhawks tallied 36 set points and nearly posted a victory at No. 2 doubles, with the duo of Pearl Guzman and Mireya Huila pushing the Pendleton tandem of Becca Walker and Larisse Chambers to the limit to two grueling sets.
In the opener, Walker and Chambers picked up a 7-5 winner to jump ahead by a 1-0 margin.
Guzman and Huila used that close battle as motivation in the second set, but wound up on the short end of a 6-7 margin for a loss.
Coach Jones knew she had a good No. 2 team on the roster, so Thursday’s match gave her reasons for optimism.
“Pearl and Mireya both played great tennis, nearly coming up with a win against a quality opponent,” Jones said. “They hadn’t had any opportunity to pair up in previous matches yet. That match couldn’t have been closer.”
On the singles side, the top-2 Riverhawk players, Dalia Mondragon and Michaela Haight, showed some fight with a combined 10 set points, as Mondragon lost her No. 1 match to Bethany Flanagan by final scores of 3-6, 2-6.
Haight endured the same fate as Mondragon in her No. 2 singles contest with Abby Williams, with the Buckaroo player gaining the edge, 6-3, 6-2.
At No. 3, TD’s Arlette Santillan lost in the two sets against Denae Smith, 0-6, 1-6, and the No. 4 player, Hannah Biehn, displayed some potential, but could not overcome Pendleton’s Gabby Cuthbert in what turned out to be a 2-6, 0-6 loss.
“I thought that another bright spot for us was freshman Hanna Biehn,” Jones said. “Hanna has had just over a month’s worth of tennis under her belt, but is making huge strides. Her competitive nature and drive are very promising.”
The Dalles’ No. 1 doubles team of Lupita Contreras and Natalie Varland hit the court opposite Maggie Scanlin and Denisa Senkerikova, and dropped the opening set by a 1-6 margin, and put up a better second-set fight, winding up with a 3-6 score to get the two-set defeat.
Following the No. 2 doubles close match, the Hawks’ No. 3 doubles team of Karla Najera and Kristi Warren tallied five set points in their 4-6, 1-6 loss versus Katie Bradt and Maureen Davies.
The final varsity contest featured TD’s No. 4 tandem of Delainny Lobato and Samantha Esiquio versus Emma Florence and Lauryn Spicknall in a solid contest.
In the end, however, Florence and Spicknall completed the eight-match sweep by a final outcome of 6-2, 6-3.
At 4 p.m. Tuesday, The Dalles hosts the Hood River Valley at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
After that, TD heads out to Hermiston for a league contest slated for 4 p.m. on Thursday.