Six seniors and a balanced team lead the Lakers

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN - Lake Oswego's Avinash Shankar is a returning state qualifier for Lake Oswego this year and will play No. 1 singles. Lake Oswego's boys tennis team will be led by its depth this year and the Lakers hope to be competitive in what should be an exceptionally tough league this year.

Lake Oswego has a strong mix of experience and talented younger players this year, featuring six seniors and a handful of freshman who should see time on varsity.

The Lakers return Avinash Sankar, who has experience at both singles and doubles. He will play at No. 1 singles for the team for much of the season.

Quinn Hardy fills in at No. 2 singles for the team this year and should also make an impact.

In doubles, the team of Jeff Knees and Bowen Mechigian is one of the more experienced in the league and should be one of the most talented in the TRL.

However, there is not a significant drop-off in the team's line-up this year. Lake Oswego has enjoyed some early success, racking up victories at the Nos. 3 and 4 singles and doubles spots in the line-up.

The team has struggled to get in matches and practices with early rain hampering court time and the roster is still developing with players still jockeying for position and spots in the varsity line-up.

“We have strong players from No. 6 through 16 and the challenges and competition is still going on,” coach Rich Taylor said.

When the Lakers have been able to get on the court, serving and volleying has been a point of emphasis along with proper footwork.

In the TRL, Lakeridge and Grant figure to each have very strong teams this year, returning large portions from last spring. However, the Lakers hope to be competitive and qualify players for the state tournament.

“My hope is we can be one of the top three teams in the TRL and get a single player and doubles pair to state,” Taylor said.

Lake Oswego took on Lakeridge Wednesday afternoon. Look for coverage of the match in next week's Review.

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