Making a racket: Week 4 in high school tennis

Columbia River's No. 1 singles Owen Carlson in action at Prairie on Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014.

Columbia River’s No. 1 singles Owen Carlson in action at Prairie on Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. (Jeff Klein photo)

Columbia River junior Owen Carlson was unbeaten until he ran into Camas’ Jonathan Ho on Sept. 26, a three-set win for Ho on the Camas courts.

Carlson can say he’s still unbeaten in 3A competition after Wednesday’s 7-6 (4), 6-3 win over Prairie No. 1 Erik Saylor on the Prairie courts.

Prairie No. 1 singles Erik Saylor in action Oct. 1, 2014. (Jeff Klein photo)

Prairie No. 1 singles Erik Saylor in action Oct. 1, 2014. (Jeff Klein photo)

A compelling match saw Carlson and Saylor, a senior, exchange some long rallies, and each making some clutch shots when they needed them.

“You just want to make sure you don’t overhit,” Carlson said of those long rallies. “You have to contain yourself and wait for a winner.”

In the second set, Carlson broke serve for a 3-2 advantage, served up an ace on game point to make it 5-3, and then hit a crosscourt forehand winner on match point.

As for that timely service ace: “Practice. And good coaching,” Carlson said. “You just don’t go out and hit those.”

This was the first time these two had played each other. When Columbia River and Prairie faced each other on Sept. 24 (a 4-2 team win for River), Saylor played No. 1 doubles with Seth Tripp.

Columbia River’s Nathan Crary improved to 5-1 in No. 2 singles matches with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Tripp.

Columbia River No. 2 singles Nathan Crary, Oct. 1, 2014 (Jeff Klein photo)

Columbia River No. 2 singles Nathan Crary, Oct. 1, 2014 (Jeff Klein photo)

Columbia River won the team match 5-1 to complete a sweep of Prairie this season.


A couple of noteworthy/interesting results from other matches Wednesday:

** Skyview’s No. 2 singles Andrew Kabacy moved up to No. 1 against Camas and knocked off Papermakers No. 1 Jonathan Ho 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (3). Kabacy is undefeated this season in singles matches. Skyview would win the team match 4-2.

** Fort Vancouver, which has just four players this fall, scored its first singles point of the season as Jonah Benavente won at No. 3 singles over Union’s Jacob Bruning 6-7 (10), 6-3, 7-5.

** Hudson’s Bay improved to 2-0 in 2A GSHL play with a 6-0 team win at R.A. Long. Thanh Vo, a No. 1 singles, and Jose Ignacio Perez, at No. 3 singles, both won 3-set matches for Bay.


Monday was a washout across the GSHL landscape. Which means expect teams to get in makeups on open days as scheduling/weather permits. With the arrival of October, there’s only a few weeks remaining before district tournaments are played, leading to bi-districts (for 3A and 2A anyway), leading to the 7-month layoff until the end of May for state in the Tri-Cities.

As addressed in last week’s post, the 4A GSHL will have a district tournament with the top 2 singles and doubles advancing directly to state. The 3A GSHL district will be just Prairie, River and the four players Fort Vancouver to decide 3 singles and 3 doubles to the bi-district.


Mountain View played up north on Saturday in the Thomas Jefferson Invitational at Auburn with TJ, Bellarmine Prep and Kentwood.

Tyler Sparling and Nick Shiraishi won the Flight 2 doubles, winning two matches, both with a third-set super tiebreaker. Their first-round victory over Bellarmine Prep’s Austin Bahna and Vivek Ramachandra was 6-0, 2-6, 10-4. The championship match over TJ’s Michael Ziccarelli and Justin Park was 6-2, 3-6, 11-9.

Colton Reed and Justin Yee placed third in Flight 1 doubles, and Mark Bajtay and Algird Zalpys placed third in Flight 3 doubles.


On Friday, Sept. 26, Union remained unbeaten in 4A GSHL play and handed Skyview its first team loss. The difference in the match? Union swept the doubles with three very close results.

At No. 1, Union’s Andrew Chanthavong and Colton Chambers defeated Alex Osler and Christian Bickmore by coming from behind for a 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3 victory. At No. 2, Union’s Bjorn Morfin and Quin Lamey defeated Kammy Abtin and Sam Sacco 6-3, 7-6 (3). And at No. 3, Union’s Jack Lamey and Victor Change¬†also came from a set down to beat Chris Sheppert and Jimmy Carrie 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8), throwing in the extended third-set tiebreaker for some drama.


Barring the unexpected, the remaining 4A GSHL unbeatens — Union and Mountain View — have a match to make up at Mountain View (according to, and then are scheduled for the rematch at Union on Oct. 10.


Until next time, as always, feel free to pass along any tennis news/notes to

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