By Ben • Ben Schorzman • 

Grizzlies drop match under the lights to Newberg Tigers

Newberg won 6-2, handing the Grizzlies (1-1) their first defeat of the season. The Grizzlies were scheduled to play at 4 p.m. Thursday at Forest Grove.

“It was tough,” Gabrielsen said.

The Grizzlies were playing without No. 1 singles player Nathan Johnson, who sat out both Monday and Tuesday with an illness. Gabrielsen had to mix up his lineup, moving regular No. 2 Reza Refaei to No. 1 and moving around his doubles rotation to get normal doubles player Wyatt Waterbury in at No. 4 singles.

“It is a shame to lose to Newberg,” Gabrielsen said. “Kids were fired up, but some things are out of your control. … Regardless of where guys were playing, that’s a winnable match.”

Refaei lost 6-0, 6-1 to Pacific Conference runner-up Anthony Croteau. Cody Thomas lost at No. 2 singles to Barry Vernon 6-1, 6-3.

The Grizzlies were swept in doubles, losing three of the four matches in three sets. Will Worth and Adam Kiff lost 6-4, 2-6, 6-7 (7-1) in a third-set tiebreak at No. 1 doubles. At No. 2 doubles, Brendon Walters and Nicky Domenichini lost 3-6, 6-2, 2-6, and Isaac Balwit and Daniel Post lost in three sets at No. 3 doubles.

At No. 4 doubles, George Zakaib and Austin Wiley were one point away from forcing a third set, but Chase Atkinson and Alex Wheeler scored seven straight points to win 6-0, 7-5.

Mac’s two wins came at No. 3 and 4 singles. Bradyn Stowe — Mac’s usual No. 4 — beat Micah Solstis 5-7, 6-2, 7-5. Then Waterbury beat Brad Bauer 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 at No. 4 singles. Waterbury was down 5-1 in the third set.

“Two kids who stepped up in the last two matches have been Bradyn and Wyatt,” Gabrielsen said. “Wyatt has been the hardest worker and the most focused.”

At the high school level, points are shortened after the score goes to deuce. The next score wins the point instead of someone having to win two straight games to earn the point. Tuesday, this worked out in Newberg’s favor. The Tigers won many of the deuce points. So while the scores might look lopsided in favor of Newberg, Gabrielsen said the closeness of each point showed to him that his guys were playing well.

“Cody (Thomas) lost a lot of deuce points,” he said. “I’m proud of how he came out and competed because he was slotted to be in the three spot. He came out fired up and battled.”

The Grizzlies defeated Dallas 8-0 Monday on the road. Here are the results:

Reza Refaei, McMinnville, def. Thomas Braun, Dallas, 6-2, 6-0. Cody Thomas, McMinnville, def. Gabe Dudley 6-1, 6-3. Bradyn Stowe, McMinnville, def. David Rebischke 6-0, 6-0. Wyatt Waterbury, McMinnville, def. Randall Mullins, Dallas, 6-0, 6-0. Will Worth and Adam Kiff, McMinnville, def. Austin Gish and Cody Bibler, Dallas, 6-0, 6-2. Nicky Domenichini and Brendon Walters, McMinnville, def. Matt Kroeker and Andres Braun 6-2, 7-5. Daniel Post and Isaac Balwit, McMinnville, def. Cole Oase and Joe Gillette 6-1, 6-0. K.J. Smith and Austin Wiley, McMinnville, def. Kyle Baumeister and Eric Shaw 6-0, 6-4.

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