News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Boys tennis ties in match against Madras

The boys tennis squad started their week with a 4-4 tie at Madras against the White Buffs on Tuesday, April 9. Two days later they fell 2-6 at Prineville.

In Tuesday’s match against the White Buffs, the Outlaws swept in all four singles spots and the White Buffs won every match in doubles play.

Dominic Pulver (No. 1 singles) pulverized Fernando Saldana with a very strong powerful first serve, and easily recorded the 6-1, 6-2 win. Dom also had a strong backhand that was a great weapon. He strategically placed his shots deep to the baseline and kept Saldana from coming to the net, and then took care of business when the opportunity of a short ball presented itself.

Coach Vince Grace said, “Dom is playing some of his best tennis, with consistent play from the backcourt. The way he is playing right now, he is the tip of the spear for our team, and will continue to dominate.”

Jude Parzybok made short work of Keith Charley III with a very strong first serve in his 6-1, 6-3 victory. He used a powerful jump serve and often landed a powerful kick serve hard to the middle of the service box.

“Jude played with precision and placed his shots strategically cross court, then mixed it up and hit it down the line, which kept his opponent guessing,” said Grace. “He is a smart player, who doesn’t just settle in the backcourt and hit comfortable ground strokes while waiting for his opponent to make a mistake. He approached the net where he faced challenging balls at his feet, hard fast balls moving at his body, or shots he really had to stretch for.”

Jack Murray (No. 3 singles) had a solid win due to his consistent serve and return, and defeated Theo Miller 6-1, 7-5.

“Jack is one of our core players and fun to watch,” said Grace. “Jack enjoys putting in time before and after practice, puts in work on his own, and today it paid off. He’s our most improved player.”

Will McConnell (freshman) just joined the team two weeks ago, and came to the squad with tennis experience. He faced Dereck Salgado at No. 4 singles and came out on top 6-3, 7-5.

“Will hit many overheads, as his opponent kept trying to lob it in the wind over his head,” said Grace. “Will is working on his split step, moving his feet forward, pausing his feet briefly to successfully react at what his opponent is hitting at him, whether it’s a lob, a volley in the air, or a ground stroke deep. He’s a very capable athlete and he will be a contender going forward for Outlaw tennis.”

The Outlaws struggled in doubles play against older, more experienced players.

Grace said, “Our doubles teams are working on positioning themselves as teams of twos. Communication, moving like a magnet towards the ball at the net to block a quick shot, or moving back to support your partner takes skill and practice, which we are working on as a team.”

At Prineville on Thursday, Pulver (No. 1 singles) and Will McDonnell (No. 4 singles) were Sisters winners for the day.

Pulver beat Victor Covarrubias 6-3, 7-5.

Grace said, “There was no stopping the powerful forehand laid down by powerhouse Pulver. No radar gun was available, but his shots deep and down the lines laid down some rubber.”

McDonnell defeated Malachi Walker with grit and determination. He was down 0-4 in the first set and came back to win 6-4. He lost the second set 4-6, but buckled down and came from behind in the tiebreaker and beat Walker, a much more experienced player, 11-9.

“Will got to shots you just can’t coach, and picked up multiple shots at his feet, and then lobbed the ball over his opponents head to the back of the court for a winner,” said Grace. “This was the most exciting match of the day, and multiple cheers were heard from spectators as the dual went back and forth. A well-earned win!”

Grace added, “Tennis is a game of mental strength and focus, a game of endurance, and a game of strategy as you anticipate your opponent’s moves, which requires agility. The best part is we are learning as a team. Whether we’re playing singles or doubles, we are striving for self-improvement. We are enjoying the journey and experiencing the joy of tennis.”

Next up for the Outlaws is the Caldera Tournament which will be held Friday, April 19, at Caldera High School, 60925 SE 15th St., Bend.


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