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The Lady Bowmen are taking aim at winning the Pacific Conference title this season

PMG PHOTO: DAN BROOD - Sherwood High School senior Emily McDonald hits a forehand shot during her No. 1 singles match against Century.SHERWOOD — The Sherwood High School girls tennis team is off to a red-hot start in Pacific Conference play this season.

But, as it turns out, there is one thing that can cool the Lady Bowmen down.

Rain.

Sherwood was off and rolling in its conference match with Century last Thursday at Laurel Ridge Middle School. But then, it started raining, and it didn't stop.

The match ended up being suspended.

"I prefer, obviously, sunny days for tennis," Sherwood senior Emily McDonald said after play was halted. "I was really looking forward to playing today."

With good reason, as the Lady Bowmen entered the match with the Jaguars with a 1-0 record in conference matches (2-1 overall).

Still, the Sherwood girls are keeping high hopes for their first season in the Pacific Conference, after moving over from the powerful Three Rivers League.

"This year, we feel like we can be first in league, hopefully," Sherwood junior Abby Ramer said. "That's our biggest goal. I think we've got a good chance."

"We're excited for the new league," McDonald said. "We're hoping to get first in league. That's a goal for everyone on the team, to achieve that, and I think we can do it."

McDonald is in her fourth year on the Sherwood varsity team. She played at No. 4 doubles as a freshman, moved up to No. 2 doubles as a sophomore and has been at No. 1 singles for the Lady Bowmen both last year and this year.

"I used to play basketball, so having athletic feet has helped," McDonald says of her advancement. "I dropped basketball to focus on tennis. So, since then, I've been playing year round."

McDonald was off to a strong start in her No. 1 singles match against Century's Olivia Vargas, grabbing a quick 3-0 lead in the first set before the rains hit.

"It was going pretty good," she said. "My go-to shot definitely is my deep cross-court forehand. That always seems to win for me, so that's my go-to."

McDonald is also taking aim at a big senior season for the Lady Bowmen.

"I'm hoping to get to get to state this year," she said. "That's one of my goals. One of my other goals was to be captain, and I got that. I love my team to death and we've been working really hard. I'm really proud of all the wins we've gotten so far."

PMG PHOTO: DAN BROOD - Sherwood senior Rianna Upton hits a shot in her No. 2 singles match when the Lady Bowmen hosted Century last week.Senior Rianna Upton was playing at No. 2 singles for the Lady Bowmen in the match with Century, and also got off to a strong start.

Speaking of strong starts, Ramer has been playing at No. 1 doubles with freshman Mandie Jensen, and the duo was unbeaten on the season going into the match with Century.

"It's been really, really good," Ramer said. "We're working great as a team. I've known her for a long time, since she was in seventh grade."

Ramer is in her third year playing doubles for the Sherwood squad. Last year, Ramer and since-graduated Josie Rutschman reached the quarterfinal round in doubles play at the Three Rivers League district tournament, leaving them one win shy of a Class 6A state tournament bid.

"I've played doubles all three years. I feel like it's harder than singles," Ramer said. "It takes more strategy then singles, in my opinion. And, I think it takes more effort and teamwork. "It's been fun. I love it and that's why I keep doing it."

Sherwood's match with Century will be completed April 8 at Laurel Ridge Middle School.

The Lady Bowmen will be back in action on April 1, when they travel to Forest Grove for a key Pacific Conference match.


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