Aaron Johnson drives a backhand in Outlaws tennis competition.
 photo by Jerry Baldock
Aaron Johnson drives a backhand in Outlaws tennis competition. photo by Jerry Baldock
The Outlaws tennis team earned an eight-match sweep over the Eagles on the road at Stayton on Tuesday, April 16. Two days later, they defeated Woodburn 6-2 at home in Sisters to improve their record to 5-1 in league, and 9-2 overall.

At Stayton on Tuesday, Coach Carl Click made a few adjustments to the line-up that worked to perfection. Weber played at the No. 1 singles spot, and will continue to play there throughout the remainder of the season. Jed Kizziar, who usually alternated at the No. 1 spot with Weber, moved to No. 1 doubles and teamed up with Isaiah Chapen, who had been playing No. 3 singles.

Weber defeated Hayden Holm 3-6, 6-1, 6-0. Nate had a slow start in the first set, but made adjustments, and with good forehand strokes and volleys, he easily won the last two sets.

“I wasn’t really thinking in the first set; I was just trying to rally with him,” said Weber. “In the last two sets I started to hit the ball where I wanted it to go, and I started to reconstruct the points on how I wanted them to go.”

Of Nate’s performance, Click said, “Nate can convert to a smarter, less risky style of singles when things get rough to get himself back into a match. He did that against Holm.”

Sisters also swept the No. 2, No. 3, and No. 4 singles matches in straight sets. Keaton Green moved from No. 4 to No. 2 singles and defeated Brian Ritchie 6-0, 7-5; Colton Seymour (No. 3) beat Brison Cowan 6-2, 6-2, and Aspen Geisen (No. 4) beat Ethan Wilson 6-3, 6-3.

Kizziar and Chapen (No.1 doubles) cruised to a 6-0, 6-1, win over Roman Curry and Justin Large in their first match together this season. Chapen had great baseline play in the back and Kizziar put the ball away for points with his aggressive play at the net.

Kizziar is happy with his switch to doubles.

“I really like the change,” said Kizziar. “Isaiah and I are already good friends and have chemistry, so hopefully, we’ll build on that as a doubles team.”

Eli Gurney and Brogan Petterson (No. 2 doubles) defeated Nolan Cramer and Daniel Johnson 6-4, 6-4; and Aaron Johnson and Sam Mayes beat Ryan Niegal and Lucas Langer 6-1-6-2. George Bates and Drew Collins-Burke had to go three sets (6-3, 5-7, 6-3) to post their win over Colby Fredericks and Erik Gomez.

Two days later, the Outlaws played in great weather conditions, temperatures in the 70s and a slight breeze, and tallied a home win over Woodburn.

Weber won his eighth match of the season at the top singles spot. It was a hard-fought, 6-4, 7-5 win over Jonathon Swensen. The win should wrap up one of the top singles seeds into the district tournament for Nate.

“It was two strong high school tennis players going stroke-for-stroke in close points and close games,” said Click. “As is usually the case, Weber got out of trouble by limiting unforced errors. He can rip the ball pretty hard, and it’s fun to watch, but he’s at his best when he tones it down a little and executes smart points.”

Seymour won another singles match at the No. 3 spot over Job Aquino, but it took three sets, 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.

One of the more entertaining matches resulted in a loss for the Outlaws. Green (No. 4) played two hours and twenty minutes against Roman Sonnek. The match involved long points, close games and three tight sets. Final scores were 7-5, 5-7, 6-4, and both players were taxed by the long length of the match and the heat.

Sisters won all four of their doubles matches. Kizziar and Chapen sailed to another win, and defeated Brian Gomez and Juan Alfaro 6-1, 6-0. Gurney and Petterson (No. 2) beat Alex Martinez and Jair Ascensio 6-0, 6-1, Johnson and Mayes won at the No. 3 spot in two straight sets, 6-2, 6-3, over Andrew Levko and Andres Mametieff, and Bates and Drew Collins-Burke wrapped up the sweep with a 6-0, 6-0, win over Angel Sanchez and Jesus Vasquez.

Chapen commented on the No. 1 doubles win.

“Jed and I have been friends for a long time, so it’s really nice to be partners in tennis,” said Chapen. “Jed is a more aggressive player, and if I just keep the ball in play he hits a lot of winning points. I play in the back court and use a lot of backspin shots and slice shots, and Jed plays up front and hits a lot of overheads and vollies.”

The Outlaws will play at home against Estacada on Thursday, April 25.