Pioneer boys net opening win over Buckaroos

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MILTON-FREEWATER — McLoughlin High’s boys tennis team opened the 2013 season with a 7-5 victory over visiting Pendleton here Tuesday.

“Today was the best tennis weather I can remember in a long time,” Pioneers coach Michelle Snyder said. “It was a great season opener for the Mac-Hi boys’ tennis team.”

In singles play, Mac-Hi’s Ulises Zaragoza lost to Buckaroo Sam Reeves, 8-2.

“Ulises was a doubles player last year and has decided to try his hand at singles,” Snyder said. “He is finding the singles game a little different, but I have high hopes for him as the season wears on.”

Pioneers Tyler McElrath, Allen Ng and Rigo Ponce also dropped their singles matches. McElrath fell to Peter Anderton, 8-3, Ng lost to Joshua Su, 8-0, and Ponce to Gareth Haug, 8-1.

“Rigo is a freshman that has come out for tennis,” Snyder said. “He is a hard worker. He was frustrated with his game tonight, but he is a hard worker and I have high hopes that as the season progresses he will continue to get better and his frustration will decrease.”

Picking up a single victory for Mac-Hi was Nathen Rencken, an 8-5 winner over Ryan Skeen.

“Nathen is a first year player and he was nervous about his first match,” Snyder said, “but he came out and fought hard for the win.”

Ariel Martinez suffered an 8-4 defeat to Pendleton’s Henry Holdman before Mac-Hi’s Freddy Rodriguez recorded an 8-5 win over Jeremy Cochrane.

In doubles play, Pioneers Rafael Villegomez and Mauricio Gomez teamed up for an 8-4 win over Micah Wood and Colton Skeen.

“Rafa and Mauricio were state qualifiers last year after taking fourth place at the district tournament,” Snyder said. “My goal for them this year is to finish in the top three this year.”

Alex Alvarez and Carlos Angel picked up another Mac-Hi victory, 8-6 over Henry Holdman and Elijah Bicker.

“This was a great matchup,” Snyder said. “At the beginning, it looked as though it was going to be a blowout with Mac-Hi taking a fast lead of 5-0. The Pendleton team never gave up and fought back hard, but Mac-Hi was able to pull off the win.

To round out the match, three Pioneer teams downed Buckaroo duos. Ivan Uribe and Zak Lyon downed Jeremy Cochrane and Joey Bliss, 8-4; Jordan Olivares and Cristian Torres beat Evan O’Grady and Yan Yan, 8-5; and Osvaldo Medrano and Jordan Olivares defeated Ryan Lacey and Grant Banister, 8-3,

Mac-Hi next plays at Umatilla at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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