Tennis teams soak up the sun

The Panthers and Papermakers rekindle their rivalry Friday

It was an exhilarating and exhausting first week for the Camas and Washougal high school boys tennis teams.

On Wednesday, the Panthers helped break in Prairie’s brand new tennis courts. They also beat the Falcons 5-1.

In one of the closest matches of the day, the first doubles duo of Regan Townsend and Wyatt Eakins lost a 6-7 (7-5) tiebreaker before coming back to win the match by scores of 6-1 and 6-3. The second doubles teams of Michael Stevens and David Choi, and third singles player Loring Moore, also won in three sets. Stevens and Choi were victorious 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, and Moore rallied back to win 4-6, 6-0, 6-1. Andrew Kelly prevailed at second singles 6-0, 6-4, and the team of James Bartholomew and Nick Tkach took third doubles 6-3, 6-2.

“It’s great for our boys to start off the season with a win,” said Washougal head coach Eric Balholm. “It shows these kids they can compete with the bigger schools. Playing better players makes you better.”

The Papermakers aced the Panthers 5-1 Friday, on the Camas tennis courts.

“I was pleased to see some of our new players, who are very talented, get over their first-match jitters,” said Camas head coach Jonathan Burton. “We enjoy playing Washougal. There is a lot of mutual respect between the coaches and players.”

Camas victories went to Jake Hsu (6-0, 6-4), Gus Cooper (6-1, 6-4), and the doubles teams of Sam Lin-Richard Nakagawa (6-0, 6-4); Naoki Tsuruta-Matt Brumfield (6-3, 6-2); and Hayden Roll-Jeffrey Lee (6-2, 7-5). Moore won the only match for Washougal. He beat JJ Jung 0-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Playing at home for the first time Monday, Washougal finished one set shy of forcing a tiebreaker with Columbia River. Moore won 6-4, 6-2 for his third singles win to start the season. Bartholomew and Tkach were victorious in a second-set tiebreaker 6-1, 7-6 (7-5). The Chieftains claimed the other four matches to win 4-2.

“We were very close to tying with those guys,” Balholm said. “Losing a tough match like that shows what we need to work on.”