Philomath High girls tennis coach Greg Thorson meets with the team in a hallway before a practice session last week. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

In a major early-season test for the Philomath High School girls tennis team, the Warriors pushed defending state champion Catlin Gabel to the limit on the road but had to settle for a 5-3 loss.

Philomath’s top two singles players — junior Bailey Bell and sophomore Adele Beckstead — defeated their counterparts in straight sets. Bell beat Amanda Perez, 6-0, 6-0, and Beckstead downed Jiya Mehta, 6-2, 7-5.

The Warriors other victory came at No. 2 doubles where juniors Nadia Durski and Lorelei Schell defeated Colette Hyde and Eliana Yoken, 6-4, 6-4. Catlin Gabel won at No. 3 and No. 4 singles and took the other three doubles matches to take the dual.

The matchup against the Portland school ended being Philomath’s season opener with Monday’s scheduled match at Lebanon postponed because of rain. Those two schools will make up the match at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Philomath’s home debut is scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday against Silverton.

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