The Barlow and David Douglas boys tennis squads surrounded the corner court at Gresham High on Wednesday afternoon, ignoring the sweltering sun. The two schools No. 1 doubles duos were pitted against one another in the Mount Hood Conference district championship match, and more importantly, the winning twosome would lift their club to the team title.
In the face of the added pressure, Barlows tandem of Kevin Kim and Chase West left as heroes.
Kim and West controlled the match from start to finish and stormed to a 6-2, 6-2 victory.
The Bruins doubles pair took a light-hearted approach to the match. West and Kim played loose and had fun on every point, regardless of the outcome. That strategy allowed them to shake off lost points quickly and kept them from getting too caught up in points they won.
With me and Kevin, we play a lot better when we are more relaxed, West said. When we are too focused, its easier to get mad and it goes downhill from there.
By laughing, joking and high-fiving after each point, the Barlow duo was ready for every new point and they made far fewer mistakes than the duo from David Douglas. They were able to take advantage of the Scots miscues and earned easy winners with slams and sharp hits down the doubles lanes.
Kim and West had an opportunity to close the door when they led 5-1 in the second set. They had a match point at 30-40, but eventually lost the game. True to form, the Bruin crew forgot the previous game instantaneously and Kim served them to victory.
The duo survived their toughest test of the tournament in the semifinals earlier that morning, coming back for a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 win over Thimo Haerter and Danny Ardeleanu a pair of Barlow singles players who were brought together for district. Kim an West trailed early in the decisive set before regaining their focus and reeling off five straight games.
The Bruins put three teams into the doubles semifinals with Parker Joncus and Andrew Cox making a run on the other side of the bracket that included a 7-6, 6-4 win over the No. 3 seed in the second round.
Central Catholics Joey Schwartz won the singles title 6-0, 6-0 over Greshams Blain Mott.
View a photo gallery from the tournament at daveball.exposuremanager.com.