PHS senior Dawson Beckstead hits a forehand during Tuesday's match against South Albany. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Playing on a windy Tuesday afternoon on Philomath High’s courts, senior Dawson Beckstead had a major early-season test in a No. 1 singles showdown against South Albany’s Blaine Leichty.

Also in his senior season, Leichty is coming off an exceptional performance at last year’s 5A tournament by rebounding from a first-round loss to win the consolation final. Beckstead qualified for state as well and hopes to finish his high school tennis career this spring on a high note.

The two players battled back and forth with Leichty taking the first set, 6-2, before Beckstead battled back in the second, 6-4. The third set went down to the final points with Leichty pulling it out, 6-4.

The match served as an example of just how close the two schools are in ability on the tennis court. When all of the varsity matches had been played, they found themselves in a 4-4 tie. To break the tie and declare a winner, the number of sets won were added up and the two schools were still tied, 10-10. So, it went to a second tiebreaker and South Albany got the win with a 99-95 advantage in games won.

The Warriors and RedHawks split the four singles matches and four doubles matches. In singles, Andrew Leonard pulled out a three-set victory, 7-5, 1-6, 6-1 at No. 2 and Jackson Rice was a 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 winner in a thriller at No. 3.

The No. 1 doubles team of Teddy Benbow and Sawyer Ainsworth defeated their South Albany counterparts, 7-6, 6-1. Philomath’s No. 4 doubles team of Ethan Aynes and Johnny Pickett were 6-4, 6-2 winners. No. 3 doubles was very close with Philomath’s Osvaldo Garcia-Bazan and Jackson Holroyd coming up short in a 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 match.

Philomath’s schedule shows a rescheduled match at Dallas coming up Wednesday. The team heads to the Coos Bend area on Thursday for matches against North Bend and Marshfield.