By Robert Husseman • Sports Editor • 

Grizzlies double the fun

McMinnville girls tennis assistant coach Mark Bunker told Molly Olsen and Sam Purdy, the Grizzlies’ No. 1 doubles team, not to be satisfied.

Olsen and Purdy made it to the Class 6A Pacific Conference girls’ doubles semifinals this weekend, punching their ticket to the Class 6A OSAA Girls Tennis State Championships for the second consecutive year. When Olsen and Purdy, the No. 2 seed, defeated No. 3 seed Karimi Nyamu and Natalie Brandt of Forest Grove, 7-6 (6), 6-1, opportunity presented itself.

Olsen and Purdy took full advantage, winning their first Pacific Conference titles Saturday at Linfield College.

The Mac duo outfoxed the tournament’s No. 1 seed, Debbie Kim and Riley Steele of Tualatin, 6-3, 6-3, to give the Grizzlies a doubles champion.

“We’re just so happy,” Olsen said. “That’s the only team we lost to (in the regular season), so to come out and beat them means a lot to us.”

All four of McMinnville’s girls doubles teams won their first-round matches. Seniors Nayelly Cervera and Kerigan Morton finished with a 2-1 record, advancing to the quarterfinals before falling to Kim and Steele, 7-5, 6-4. Junior Caitlan Baker and sophomore Shay Bristow went 2-1 and also made the quarterfinals; Newberg’s Alenka Beralas and Maddie Wiltshire, 6-4, 6-3. Ellie Solem and Lauren Ulvang went 1-1 in competition.

The McMinnville boys will be represented at state by senior Edoardo Colombari and junior Daniel Post, who emerged as the No. 3 seed to make the doubles final.

Colombari and Post lost a tight first set against Aidan Thillman and Barry Vernon of Newberg and struggled from there, falling 6-4, 6-2.

“We struggled to find the range on our groundstrokes a little bit,” Post said. “They did a good job getting us out of our rhythm.”

The Grizzlies’ doubles team of Ehren Cahill and Kyle Nash won its first-round match, 6-1, 6-2, against Century before falling to No. 2 seed Tyler Snyder and Dahn Nguyen of Tualatin, 6-1, 6-1. Colombari and Post defeated Snyder and Nguyen, 6-4, 7-6 (5), in the boys doubles semifinals.

In boys singles, play, Mac senior Patrick Loumann advanced to the quarterfinals in the championship bracket, going 2-0 before being eliminated by district champion Tommy Edwards of Century, 6-0, 6-0. Drew Altringer was victorious in his first-round match, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, before falling to Brendon Sommers of Glencoe, 7-5, 6-3. Grizzlies singles players Tyler Patterson and Mason Wennerstrom each lost in the first round.

McMinnville girls singles players Kelsey Allen, Rachel Legard, Julia Jacobucci and Veronica Marquez were all ousted in the first round of the championship bracket. Allen advanced to the consolation final in singles, where she was defeated by Hayden Huebner of Tigard, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4.

Grizzlies girls tennis coach Angelica Huston also garnered Coach of the Year honors from the Pacific Conference after leading Mac to a 14-1 match play record (13-1 Pacific) in 2014.

The OSAA Class 6A state championships will be held Thursday through Saturday at the Tualatin Hills Tennis Center in Beaverton.

“Let’s see if we can win some matches,” Colombari said.

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