The final day of the Mid-Willamette Conference district tennis meet went quickly for Corvallis High’s Anna Kern.
Kern, the No. 1 seed in the girls singles, rolled to a 6-0, 6-0 win against Crescent Valley’s Ivy Ding in the semifinals, then watched as West Albany’s No. 3 seed Ceanne Elliott came back to defeat Corvallis No. 2 seed Journey Lipscomb 2-6, 6-3, 6-1.
There would be no championship match. Elliott left to perform with West Albany at the band/orchestra state championships.
The default took Kern by surprise and she was not overly happy but made the best of the situation. She looked for someone to play for fun.
“It’s kind of disappointing,” Kern said. “I was really looking forward to getting a match in.
“I’m kind of disappointed about it but there’s not really much I can do about it, so I’m happy to have (the title) but it’s not really the way I envisioned it.”
Kern’s win helped the CHS girls to the team title, with Crescent Valley taking the boys championship.
Kern said the tournament went well for her through the semifinals, but missed playing alongside her sister, Tessa, who is playing at Linfield College.
The two played in high school the past three years and met in the MWC finals.
“It’s fun to have her here because we’re really close and so it’s fun to do things with her, but she’s doing well at college,” Kern said. “It’s definitely different but it’s a good different. It’s good to not have to player her for the finals.”
All players making the semifinals advance to the 5A state meet, so Kern and Lipscomb will be heading to the Portland area.
“Journey’s been playing really well,” Kern said. “We train together and we’ve both been putting in a lot of time.”
Kern’s goal at state is to take her third straight singles title. Then it’s on to play for Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California.
Crescent Valley’s No. 1 seed Bojan Soskic defeated West Albany third-seed Bjorn Carlson 6-1, 6-1 for the boys singles title.
Soskic defeated No. 4 Jean de Wouters of Central 6-0, 6-1 in the semifinal. Carlson made the finals when Corvallis’ Rowan Mosher withdrew after the second set.
De Wouters was third and Mosher fourth.
“I’ve been playing well and I’ve been winning pretty confidently,” Soskic said. “I’ve just been doing good.”
Getting out on the practice court has been a key to success for Soskic.
“I’ve just been practicing a lot and I’ve been practicing with people that are better than me so I can try to play at their level and just try to bring it up,” he said.
Soskic said he wants to make sure he’s in shape for state and work on gaining confidence in his forehand.
“I’m trying to win (state), but I don’t know anyone in the draw,” he said. “So I don’t really know what to expect, I’ll just prepare as much as I can and see how I do.”
Part of the reason Soskic is unfamiliar with the draw is he was not around for districts and state last year. He attended Gorin Tennis Academy in Granite Bay, California from September through May.
“It improved (my game) a lot because it was just so much practice, it was five hours a day five times a week and tournaments over the weekend,” Soskic said. “So it was a lot of practice and there were a lot of good players so it definitely boosted my game a lot.”
Defending district and state champions Olivia McGough and Sarah Forester took a 6-0, 6-0 win against Silverton’s No. 2 seed Alyssa Khieu and Aneisa Fink.
McGough said the season has gone pretty much as expected to this point.
“I think this season in particular we have more pressure on us because we’re defending state champs, but that makes it all the more exciting,” she said.
McGough said winning the state title should help them as they try for another championship.
“I think so because we know what it’s going to be like now, we know what to expect going into it,” she said. “And I think it made us train harder this year.”
McGough and Forester are able to click on the court because they’ve played tennis together throughout their years in high school.
“Olivia and I have known each other for a very long time and we’ve just spent a lot of time training together,” Forester said. “We’re just around each other a lot, we know each other super well and we’re very good friends as well.”
McGough and Forester defeated unseeded Ambri Burton and Kaylee Humphries of South Albany 6-0, 6-1 in the semis and Burton and Humphries wound up finishing third. CV’s unseeded team of Megan Nebeker and Kara Paterson took fourth.
Corvallis’ top-seeded boys doubles team of Eddie Hu and Lukas Reinkenobbe took a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 win against third-seeded Ronny Junkins and Evan Kooyman of CV for the title.
Hu and Reinkenobbe defeated fifth-seeded Kevin Dai and Todd Meng of CV 6-3, 6-4 in the semifinals. Junkins and Kooyman defeated No. 2 seed Isaac Milner and Romain Grangier of Silverton.