Oak Ridge tennis team ready as postseason nears

By: Matt Long
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With the regular season now over, Oak Ridge High’s varsity boys’ tennis team will focus on winning their second section championship in three years. The Trojans are one of the contenders to win the championship, which they last won in 2008 against Granite Bay. Oak Ridge dominated the Sierra Valley Conference, going undefeated with a 14-0 record. Coach Pat Ryan said he figures Rio Americano to be his team’s toughest competition, but regardless, Ryan said his team has the ability to win the section title. “I would be disappointed if we didn’t make it to the final,” Ryan said. “We’re as strong in singles as we’ve been since I’ve been here the last five years. We’re younger than we’ve ever been in doubles since we lost 10 seniors last year, which puts more pressure on our singles’ players.” Tanner Schmutte leads the singles players, followed by Austin Hall, Andrew Hall, Jimmy Giovannini, Alex Charn and Nic Atkinson. The team’s No. 2 player, Brandon Sutter, has missed most of the season with an injured shoulder and back and if he could make it back in the lineup, he would obviously help the team. Oak Ridge ended the regular season with a 7-2 win over Vista del Lago on April 26. Andrew Hall, playing at No. 2 singles, dropped the first set to Vista’s Nic Bacchini, 7-5, but then won the second set 7-5 and then the tiebreaker, 10-8, to take the match. At No. 1 doubles, Jonathan Kim and Joe Carson also lost the first set to Douglas Wong and Jake Muro, 6-4, before coming back to win the last two, 6-3, 6-2. Austin Hall (6-2, 6-0), Giovannini (6-1, 6-3), Atkinson (6-3, 6-2), Charn (6-4, 6-2) and Jake Hasse (6-4, 6-3) picked up straight set victories in singles play for the Trojans. The section playoffs begin May 11.