By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes
SALEM—Hannah Childress battled cramps in both feet to reach her first Greater Valley Conference girls singles final on Saturday, May 12 at Salem Tennis and Swim Club.
But the McNary senior couldn’t bring home the title, falling to three-time district champion Ceanne Elliott of West Albany 6-0, 6-1.
“I think it would have been a lot more competitive if she would have been more fresh,” McNary head coach Mathew Osberg said.
After cruising to the semifinals, dropping just five games in three matches, to qualify for her fourth state tennis tournament, Childress defeated South Salem sophomore Abby Fedor 7-5, 6-2 Saturday morning to reach the finals.
“The first set was really challenging,” Childress said. “Starting the second set, she (Fedor) was really motivated. But all the energy just dropped and I noticed she was getting more tired and frustrated so I picked up my game then and I hit a little bump when she won the second game and the rest I just really wanted to win. I’d put so much energy into that match and wanted to make it into the finals. I love how it’s my last year and I made it to the finals. It’s progress.”
Gina Munguia and Natalia Gonzalez, who didn’t begin playing together until the last match of the season, reached quarterfinals of the doubles bracket, where they lost to the eventual champions Avari Ridgway and Amy Gilliat of McMinnville 6-0, 6-0.
“They really have a lot of communication on the court and move well together,” Osberg said of Munguia and Gonzalez. “I think both of them had their best matches. They kept being patient and kept the ball in play and tried to force errors from their opponents and it worked out.”
McNary senior Katherine Perez regrouped from losing in the first round to win four matches in a row, including a 5-7, 7-6, 6-0 victory over Hannah Leichty in the consolation finals.
In the boys tournament, McNary junior Alfredo Villarreal also rebounded after losing in the first round to reach the consolation finals, where he lost to Josiah Barkes of Sprague 6-1, 6-1. Villarreal shut out Rees Jones of South Salem 8-0 to get to the finals.
“In practice, I’m just trying to get better everyday,” said Villareal, who only began playing tennis last season. “I’m not just out here just to take up time. I’m trying to get better and put in effort every day and that’s how I’ve got to the point I am right now. I think I still have a lot of potential and I still have a lot of room to improve so if I just keep working I’ll be able to go even farther next year.”
The 6A tennis state championships are May 17-19 at Babette Horenstein Tennis Center in Beaverton.
Childress, the No. 7 seed, has a bye in the first round and will get the winner of Olivia O’Halloran (Barlow) and Lucy Erickson (Sunset).