Camas tennis turns tides on Columbia River

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Every game counted between the Camas and Columbia River girls tennis teams Wednesday.

Esther Kwon, Jen Lewis and Lily Hsu won three singles matches for the Papermakers, but the Chieftains countered with three victories in doubles to force a tiebreaker.

After the sets were also tied at six, Camas won with 43 total games to Columbia River’s 41. Head coach Jonathan Burton didn’t want to hang around and find out what would have happened if the teams tied in total games as well. He had been waiting long enough for this win.

“I have been coaching the girls since 2000, and I don’t ever recall us beating River until now,” he said. “I’ve been hanging around and waiting for this win for 13 years, but most of these kids haven’t been around that long. I could see some high fives and smiles when I explained to them how big this win was for our program.”

As the matches unfolded, Burton told each of the Camas players to keep playing hard because the outcome could hang in the balance of each game. Kwon, Lewis and Hsu collected 36 games and only gave away five. Meghal Sheth and Katie Shin won three games, Emily Carson and Alexa Jacobsen picked up three games, and Tori Slaven and Sammy Childers added one more game to the pile.

“Our doubles teams were down fast, but we were still encouraging them to win as many games as they could,” Burton said. “We would have lost the match without those games the doubles players fought so hard for.

“That’s the great thing about this format,” he added. “We get up to nine players on varsity and every single one of them can contribute to a team victory.”

The 8-0 Papermakers are scheduled to face the Prairie Falcons today, at Camas High School. Matches begin at 3:30 p.m.

“It was a nice win, but we still have more milestones to accomplish,” Burton said. “Our goal now is to beat Prairie for the league championship and contend for the district title.”

The 3A district girls tennis tournament is Friday and Saturday, at Green Meadows in Vancouver.