Byrne makes transition to No. 1


News staff writer

March 18, 2006

Matt Byrne had a lot to get used to in his March 14 tennis match against Gresham’s Ryan Shaffores.

His former No. 1 doubles partner, Bruce Chiang, was gone.

The court had changed sizes. And he was all alone.

With former No. 1 singles Jeff Osborne opting to compete in the United States Tennis Association this year, coach Mike Oates had thrust Byrne into the biggest gap a high school tennis team could have: No. 1 singles, the position of battling the best player other teams have to offer.

“Challenging,” is how he described the transition.

On March 14, however, he handled the transition quite well, slaying Shaffores 6-3, 6-2.

“The competition is much better at this position,” he said.

Jimmie Oates, formerly a No. 2 doubles player, stepped up to his new role at No. 2 singles as well.

Oates beat his opponent, Justin Chen, 6-3, 6-4.

“It was closer than it should have been,” he said.

Oates, Byrne and No. 4 doubles Taylor Eaton and Kaleb Farro, who won 7-5, 6-3 accounted for Hood River Valley’s only three wins in the Eagles loss.

Gresham beat Hood River Valley in the No. 3, No. 4 singles, No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 doubles.

The loss at No. 4 singles was a forfeit.

“The team did well considering we only had one full practice where the majority of the team showed up due to weather, primarily,” said coach Oates.

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