Lady Celts rise, not all at once

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McNary’s Taslima Sidhu chases down a volley in doubles competition with West Salem High School Thursday, April 24. Sidhu and partner Katherine Patterson won the match. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

McNary’s Taslima Sidhu chases down a volley in doubles competition with West Salem High School Thursday, April 24. Sidhu and partner Katherine Patterson won the match. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

No singles or doubles player was able to pull out two wins on the McNary High School girls varsity tennis team last week.

The Lady Celts started the week with a 6-2 loss to Sprague High School April 22 and beat North Salem High School 5-3 Thursday, April 24.

Lead-off singles player Sandy Childress took a win over Sprague’s Kate Goldworthy in sets of 6-0 and 6-2. Childress made it to the state tournament last season in a doubles team, but it is looking to improve on her finish this year in singles.

“I’ve had a lot more practice this year and more experience. It’s helped me be more relaxed and not so focused on winning,” Childress said. “ The hardest part is trying to be consistent and play my best no matter who is on the other side of the court.”

Tayler Rains and Krissy Kelty got the Celts only other win over Sprague at No. 4 doubles. Set scores were 6-2, 7-6 (1).

Childress fell to North’s Maribel Ocampo in sets of 6-0 and 6-2. But, it was only the second loss of the season for Celtic junior. Both have been against the top contenders for the league title.

In singles, Rachel Morrow got a win over Viking Cesilia Mutes in sets of 6-3 and 6-0.

Morrow said adapting to singles play this season has presented its challenges, but time and experience is paying off.

“It was hard to get in the habit of covering the whole court by myself, but it’s easier with each match,” Morrow said.

Cambria Ruston took a win at No. 3 singles in sets of 6-1, 1-6 and 7-5.

The Celts nearly swept doubles play against North Salem. Seniors Katie Stignei and Megan Thompson won in sets of 6-0 and 6-3. Ariana Neads and Sami Trowbridge picked up a win in a pair of 6-2 sets.

Juniors Taslima Sidhu and Katherine Patterson took a win in only their second time as a doubles team. Set scores were 3-6, 6-1 and 6-4.

Sidhu said she prefers doubles action to singles competition where she was slotted earlier this season.

“I like being up at the net. I feel like I get more of an advantage,” she said.

Patterson said getting better at doubles in her first year on varsity is one of her goals for the season.

“It’s helped being on varsity and playing with Taslima,” she said.

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