The Hermiston Bulldog boys and girls tennis squads have good team depth which makes them the favorites to win the Intermountain Conference district tournaments Friday and Saturday, but Bend or Pendleton may have something to say about that.
"Hermiston is the favorite, but we could sneak in and win if Hermiston slips up," Pendleton girls coach Dick Beamer said. "They're a lot deeper and they have a better chance. Bend and Pendleton will be pretty close. I'm hoping we come in second over Bend."
The girls tournament takes place in Bend and the boys tournament will be held in Hermiston. Seeding for both tournaments takes place tonight.
"We probably have the edge, we're probably the favorites," Hermiston girls coach Geoff Bullis said of his two-time defending district champions. "We're undefeated on the season but there's just so many variables that go into play.
"There's a fair amount of strength and experience. We might have the most depth but we're younger and at district time, that can make a difference."
Crook County, Bend and Pendleton all can't be discounted, according to Bullis.
The Bulldogs' lineup is still up in the air and Hermiston assistant coach Curt Berger said the Bulldogs probably won't decide on their final lineup until right before the seeding takes place. Bullis has to take into account that Hermiston's top player Rachel Berger is having back problems and Chelsey Vandewall will be missing the tournament due to family concerns.
Rebekah Adams will likely be the No. 1 singles and Kimberley Crowther will likely play in the No. 2 slot for Hermiston.
Rachel Berger and Rebecca Berger will probably be the No. 1 doubles team for Hermiston and Rene Swoboda and Andrea Wicks is expected to start as the No. 2 doubles team. The No. 3 and No. 4 spots for both singles and doubles are undecided for Hermiston.
Bullis expects Rachel Berger and Rebecca Berger to be seeded No. 1 in doubles and the Swoboda and Wicks duo will probably be seeded No. 2 or No. 3, he said.
Pendleton's No. 1 singles player Kristine Beamer will probably be seeded No. 1 and the Pendleton No. 1 doubles team of Kory Waterland and Nicole Jones will most likely be seeded No. 3, Beamer said.
"Pendleton's Kristine Beamer could win singles and Waterland and Jones will be tough," Bullis said.
Amy Lorenzen will play No. 2 singles, Krista Lowary will be at No. 3 and Danielle Haslam is in the No. 4 singles position for the Buckaroos.
Pendleton's No. 1 doubles pair of Guy Zimmerman and Richard Wick have a chance of being seeded anywhere from No. 4 to No. 7, Pendleton boys coach Dave Williams said.
"Our program has improved by leaps and bounds over a year ago and I'm proud of the way the kids have competed all season," Williams said. "We've compiled a 5-8 record after going winless a year ago."
The Hermiston boys will probably have one seeded singles player and two seeded doubles teams, Hermiston boys coach John Lauck said.
"Hermiston looks very strong," Williams said. "They're deep ... Summit and Mountain View could be right there as well. It's an interesting year for districts."
No. 1 singles Ryan Bell will probably be seeded No. 2 or No. 3 for Hermiston, Lauck said. The No. 1 doubles duo of Derek Nagle and Calvin Meade will probably be seeded No. 3 and Lauck expects the Bulldogs' team of Mark Carollo and Paul Carollo to be seeded No. 4 or No. 5.
"I think Summit is favored," Lauck said.