Sunday, November 28, 2021
Nov. 28, 2021

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River’s Keller, Mark Morris duo claim 2A sub-district tennis titles

By , Columbian Assistant Sports Editor
Published:
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Columbia River's Wilson Keller prepares to serve in his 2A sub-district singles final against teammate Matt Rudi on Saturday, Oct.
Columbia River's Wilson Keller prepares to serve in his 2A sub-district singles final against teammate Matt Rudi on Saturday, Oct. 19 at Vancouver Tennis Center (Tim Martinez/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

The rubber match went to Wilson Keller, and with it, the 2A sub-district title.

Keller beat Columbia River teammate Matt Rudi 6-3, 7-6 to win the sub-district boys tennis singles title Saturday at Vancouver Tennis Center.

“Matt and I have played two challenge matches this year in practice, and we each had won one,” Keller said. “I won the first one, which allowed me to play No. 1 singles the first part of the year, and then Matt won the second challenge match, then he played at No. 1. So I knew this would be a tough match.”

Keller was trailing much of the second set until a service break allowed him to force a tiebreaker, which he won.

“I think my serve just got better at the end,” Keller said.

Keller reached the singles final after beating Ridgefield’s Derek Kropp 6-1, 6-0 in the semifinals. Keller had lost to Kropp in three sets just two weeks ago.

“Wilson played a really strong match,” River coach Jim Sevall. “He’s really elevated his focus over the past couple of weeks.”

Keller, Rudi, Kropp and Washougal’s Wyatt Sims will advance to next week’s district tournament in Longview.

Defending 2A state champions Gabriel Slind and Ben Haukaas of Mark Morris looked every bit the favorite after sweeping their way to the sub-district doubles title with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Columbia River’s Max Firstenburg and Alex Miller.

Slind and Haukaas beat Firstenburg and Miller 7-6, 6-2 in a league match on Oct. 9.

“This match was a lot easier today,” Haukaas said of Saturday’s final. “I don’t know if it was nerves on their part or not, but I felt like we played pretty well.”

The two games in the final were the only two Slind and Hauskaas dropped all tournament.

“I really like the way we’re playing right now,” Haukaas said. “We going to keep working next week at Mint Valley, get better and get back to state.”

In addition to the two finalists, R.A. Long’s Brady Anderson and Collin Mendenhall advanced to district in doubles, along with Ridgefield’s Jonah Kropp and Mikey Nester.

Districts are Thursday and Friday at Mint Valley Racquet Club in Longview.

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