HERMISTON — The consolation bracket lived up to its name on Tuesday.
After a disappointing finish to Day 1 of the Special District 1 tennis tournament for Dain Lloyd, the Hermiston senior came out snarling in Hermiston on Tuesday, winning a pair of matches to secure fifth place in the district.
“If I had ended my career on a loss that definitely would have been more heart breaking than not going to state,” Lloyd said following his 6-4, 6-1 victory over Hood River Valley’s Scottie Ziegner. “This is at least somewhat satisfying.”
Following a letdown in the quarterfinals on Monday — a 6-3, 6-1 shortcoming to Summit's Parker Nichols — the best Lloyd could hope for was fifth place. In fact, squeezing into the Top 5 was the best any Hermiston or Pendleton tennis player could have managed with Monday’s early loses.
That wasn’t totally unexpected, Pendleton coach Chris Holdman said. Of his group of 12 players, half were in their first year of tennis.
“They developed well over the season compared to where they started,” Holdman said. “They started stroking the ball well. We could have used another three or four months to compete with some of these guys, though.”
The Bucks had a pair of doubles teams still playing in Hermiston on Tuesday, where action was split between the four courts at Hermiston High and the four at Armand Larive Middle School. The duos of Garrett Haug and David Smith as well as Peter Anderton and Sam Reeves each were gunning for a consolation prize. Winning out would have required three victories on Tuesday, but the Bucks both bowed out of competition after the morning’s first match.
Along with Lloyd, Hermiston had Tyler Berger playing singles against Chris Schoenborn of Mountain View. Berger fell 8-5. In doubles, Hermiston’s A.J. Garcia and Colton Bond also lost their first match of the day.
The final Hermiston representatives alive at the start of Day 2 — Lucas Wyant and Vincent Whitesell — outlasted their first doubles opponent from Bend. The victory bought the Dawgs a chance at fifth place with a match against Summit's William Dalquist and Wes Franco.
Wyant and Whitesell started hot against the Summitduo, who earlier in the day eliminated Pendleton’s Anderton and Reeves. The Bulldogs took the first set 6-1 with relative ease.
That was a hard act to follow, though.
“We were just coming to the net a lot and that’s something we didn’t do in the second and third set,” Whitesell explained. “We had been making a lot of our hard shots in that we usually don’t but from there it all just fell apart.”
Dalquist and Franco took the second set 6-3 before pounding the Dawgs 6-1 for the clincher.
The Summit boys, who play as the No. 4 doubles team for their school, wrapped up an all-around excellent tournament for the Bend-based Storm. Summit took first with 44 total points, comfortably ahead of Mountain View’s 16. Hermiston finished in a tie for fourth with Bend, scoring eight points.
Paxton Deuel of Summit won the singles bracket over teammate Chandler Oliveira for his fourth straight district title. Mountain View pair Matt Larraneta and Matt Van Helmryck won the doubles portion.
“They’re definitely the ones to keep an eye on,” said Whitesell, a sophomore. “Obviously they’ve got some good players but we’ve got a good coach and a young team. We’re going to be the ones to look out for pretty soon.”
Contact AJ Mazzolini at (541) 966-0839 or firstname.lastname@example.org.