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Tennis players compete at state tourney

by: SANDY POST: PARKER LEE - Sandy's Christan Schlaht races along the baseline to make a return during her first-round singles match at the 5A state tournament last week.BEAVERTON — The Cinderella run for tennis players Hailey Fischer and Christan Schlaht came to an end at last week’s 5A state tournament. They were the first two girls to ever represent Sandy at state.

Schlaht was halted in her opening match by Crescent Valley’s Jessica Chen, 6-1, 6-3. Schlaht and Chen were more evenly matched than the score indicated. Especially early in the match, several games went to deuce, but Chen gutted out a few more long points than Schlaht.

The key to Chen’s success in those extended points was her ability to hit the ball with pinpoint accuracy. She moved Schlaht from left to right across the court consistently without making errors. Schlaht tracked down most shots from Chen, but the perfect steadiness of Chen’s play won out.

Fischer had the rotten luck of drawing top-seeded Chelsea Clark from West Albany in the first round. Clark defeated Fischer by a score of 6-1, 6-0, and went on to qualify for the championship match. With as well as Clark played in the tournament, Fischer did well to steal a game in the first set.

In her consolation match, Fischer fell to Lebanon’s Bailey Brooks in the one pro set, 8-3. Fischer played even with Brooks for the first few games, but Brooks was a bit more consistent down the stretch.

While Schlaht and Fischer, both juniors, certainly hoped to win a few matches at state, they still reveled in the opportunity.

“It was a lot of fun to see girls who are a lot better than what we are used to,” Fischer said. “I feel like a way better player already and I know what I need to work on.”

The Sandy pair see what top-tier tennis players look like, and they are ready to take their games to that level.

“It was awesome to be here to experience everything,” Schlaht said. “This gave me something to shoot for. Hopefully I can go further next year.”

If Schlaht and Fischer use their appearances at state to improve as players, they will be back next season with a great chance to make some noise.

On the boys side, Sandy sophomore Sebastian Galvin lost his opener 6-1, 6-4 against Colton Wright of Corvallis, then fell 8-4 to Redmond's Zach Powell in the consolation bracket.