Tennis team sends two to state tournament
Singles players Louis Merred and Efrem Roseburg will represent Quincy High School at the 2A state tennis tournament in Seattle this weekend.
Merred earned his ticket last Thursday, May 16, after finishing second in districts. Roseburg finished third and advanced to the May 18 crossover game, where he punched his ticket to the Emerald City, winning his match in two sets.
“We are pretty happy,” said boys tennis head coach Matthew See. “We got two (players) in one (state) bracket, which rarely ever happens.”
Merred qualified to state last year after winning the crossover game. This year, he cut through the District field in impressive fashion. The only player who has been able to stop him is Ephrata’s Masato Kuroshima, who won the district title, 6-3, 7-6, over Merred.
“That’s twice that he’s gone against (Kuroshima) and taken him to a tie-break, so he’s getting closer to being able to beat him,” See said, predicting that they might meet up again in Seattle this weekend.
This is Roseburg’s first trip to state.
“He’s one of the hardest-working kids in our team,” See said. “He gets out year-round, in the summer and the fall, even when it’s still cold, he’s out there hitting. He saved up his own money and got himself a ball machine. It’s really cool for him because he’s worked really hard.”
Roseburg’s ascent from not being very good as a freshman to improving as a sophomore to qualifying to state as a junior is a great example for the team, See said.
“Hard work pays off,” he said, adding that having each other as teammates has helped both Roseburg and Merred.
“Lots of times in practice, I would say, ‘Go play each other,’” See said with a laugh. “That’s the best thing for both of them. Go play a really competitive, hard match.”
Plenty of competitive matches await them at the Nordstrom Tennis Center of Seattle’s University of Washington.
The old “win two before you lose two” rule almost ensures a medal for the fuzz-peelers from Quincy.
“I’m proud of both of them,” See said. “They don’t need to do anything more, they already have had a successful season.” It would be “a bummer” he added if the boys had to play each other, which will happen if they both win their first two matches.
One surprise in the boys’ bracket is that defending state champ Colton Smith of Tumwater will not be there.
“He’s not even playing high school tennis,” See said of Smith, who joined the ranks of the United States Tennis Association.
“He’s not there, which to me, as far as my knowledge of these kids, leaves it wide open,” See said of the Tumwater standout.
Roseburg’s state debut happens on May 24 against Jared Zaugg of White River. Merred’s first opponent at the state tourney is Luke Rutz of Anacortes on the same day.
By Sebastian Moraga, firstname.lastname@example.org