Coming off a 7-1 loss last week at Redmond, The Dalles boys tennis team played short-handed this past Tuesday, but still scored a 5-0 win at home over Pendleton with every match decided by straight sets.
In the singles division, Andy Lopez defeated Easton Phelan by final margins of 6-3, 6-3 at No. 1, Jose Reyes added a 6-3, 6-0 triumph over Dean Schiller, 6-3, 7-6 (7-1), in his No. 2 contest, and Hayden Pashek completed the singles shutout with a two-set win versus Joshua Johnston.
TD head coach Sergio Lopez-Galvan called Reyes’ tough contest the standout match of the day.
Both Reyes and Schiller battled in the second set with long rallies, so energy came into play.
Down 6-5 in the second set, Lopez-Galvan pulled Reyes aside on the changeover and reminded him to focus on one point at a time and to forget the past shots and the future points.
“It was all about now and him staying focused on the ball,” Lopez-Galvan said. “He came back and went to a second-set tiebreak and won it, 7-1. I loved seeing José grinding, even when he didn’t feel like moving. He didn’t give up and I’m proud of him for that. These matches help out heading into districts next week.”
TD captured a pair of doubles wins, led by the No. 1 duo of Quinn Wilson and James Pashek.
They bolted past Noah Butler and Elton Harrison in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3.
Devam Patel and Ethan Martin then went to work in their No. 2 doubles match and dominated Tyler Walker and Ian Barhyte, 6-0, 6-0, to preserve the lopsided win.
On April 23 at Redmond, The Dalles had a tough hill to climb against the Panthers and just managed to notch one victory in a 7-1 loss, as Sven Deruette and Blake Kienlen had to work overtime to get past Kyle Kowalski and Willie Hunt.
The Redmond duo claimed the first set, 7-6, but then the Riverhawk tandem got back to the fundamentals and scratched across a 6-3 decision to send the match into a third-set tiebreaker.
“Sven and Blake have been our rock this season,” Lopez-Galvan said. “They have not lost a doubles match as our No. 4. They have joked that we won’t lose all our matches because of them. And they are right. They lost the first set in a tie break but then came back taking it to a 3rd set. This is the most they have been pushed and they rose to the occasion. I’m proud of their work they’ve put in this season.”
Wilson and Pashek lost their No. 1 match, 2-6, 1-6, Patel and Martin were upended by counts of 3-6, 4-6 at No. 2, and the No. 3 team of Miguel Torres and Salvador Garcia could not put the pieces together in their 0-6, 1-6 loss.
“Against a team like Redmond, you have to play your best,” Lopez-Galvan said. “Most matches went straight-forward, and Redmond continued to take each player out. Devam and Ethan played amazing points, even though they lost. You could tell they were playing at a higher level. Quinn and James had a huge battle against a top doubles team. The score doesn’t show the effort they put in that match. Their game elevated.”
On the singles side, No. 1 player Andy Lopez was defeated 0-6, 0-6, Reyes came up short in his No. 2 showdown, 4-6, 2-6, Hayden Pashek ended up on the wrong side of a 1-6, 1-6 score in the No. 3 round, and Sanjay Ramanathan claimed the setback at No. 4 singles, 1-6, 2-6.
“Redmond has been the team to beat this year,” Lopez-Galvan said. “Before our match, I reminded them all that they had a choice to make, so it was up to them to either give it everything they’ve got or just play conservatively, hoping to pull out a win.”
Following Saturday’s league match at Ridgeview, The Dalles travels to Pendleton at 4 p.m. Monday in a re-scheduled match, and then wraps up the regular-season schedule Tuesday versus Crook County.
The two-day Intermountain Conference Tournament is slated for Thursday, May 9 at Redmond.