PORTLAND — Ashland High School senior Rox Rogers is back where he was this time last year.
Now, he hopes to make it one spot better.
Rogers, the top seed in Class 5A, advanced to the state championship match for the second consecutive year after picking up a pair of straight-set victories at the Portland Tennis Club on Friday afternoon.
Much like he did a year ago, Rogers enters the state title match having not lost a set in his first three rounds of competition. On Friday, he claimed a 6-2, 6-1 win over Hood River Valley’s Vaughn Reardon in the quarterfinals before beating Alle Banna of Churchill 6-4 and 6-2 to reach the championship match.
“He played well. He was definitely challenged a little more today,” Ashland head coach Ari Zaslow said. “His first match was a lefty who could hit the ball well, but Rox stuck to his game plan and outplayed the guy. His second match, the opponent played really well and it was a really tight first set and Rox pulled it off to take the set.”
Rogers will look to make it a clean sweep when he faces second-seeded Logan Hausler of Summit. Hausler has also claimed three straight-set victories at the tournament thus far.
“He’s got a shot,” Zaslow said. “He beat (Hausler) earlier this year and knows how to beat him.”
The Grizzlies’ doubles team of senior Nur Shelton and freshman Braden Rogers rallied from a set down to win their first match of the day in the quarterfinals, but lost 6-3, 7-5 in the semis to the bracket’s No. 1 seed, Dylan Warren and Joshua Marine of Summit.
“They struggled a little in the first set (of the quarterfinals) and broke and lost the first, then really hung in there really well,” Zaslow said of his doubles team that will play for third place today. “They stayed with it and got a break to take the second set. They took control early and got an early break and stuck with it.”
Ashland’s lone representative its girls team, freshman Alyssa Retiz, won both of her matches on Friday to advance into the consolation bracket final.
Retiz, who lost her opening-round match to third-seeded Sidney Lowry of Wilsonville on Thursday, beat Marist’s Ellie Gonyea 8-2 and Summit’s Anika Groener 8-4 to extend her stay in Portland another day.
Contact Danny Penza at 541-776-4483 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @penzatopaper.