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Laker, Pacer girls tennis teams each sending three to state

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN Lake Oswego’s Erinna O’Brien captured the Three Rivers League singles championship, losing just three games in all of her matches.

The Lake Oswego and Lakeridge girls tennis teams each managed to get one singles player and one doubles team through to state in what proved to be somewhat of a topsy-turvy event at Portland Tennis Center last week.

The singles bracket actually held to form with all four top seeds advancing to the semifinals.

Lake Oswego's Erinna O'Brien was stellar for the tournament, winning her first two matches 6-0, 6-0.

In the quarterfinals, O'Brien came away with a 6-1, 6-2 victory to qualify for state. Those three games would be the only ones O'Brien would lose in the tournament.

In the semifinals she knocked off Lakeridge's Adrienne Caba and she won the title by default as Grant's Leah Alpern withdrew.

"That was as close to flawless as Erinna has played," Lake Oswego coach Susan Branam said.

For Lakeridge, Caba was solid as well in advancing to state. She won her opening two matches 6-3, 6-2 and 6-1, 6-0 respectively.

Then, against sixth seeded Blair Dozois from Lake Oswego, Caba put together a solid match to win 6-4, 6-2.

Lakeridge's Brittany Dales also made the quarterfinals and came up just shy of a state berth. Dales won her first match in straight sets and then took down fifth seeded Amanda Wagner from West Linn who was the defending district champion.

In the quarterfinals, Dales faced Clackamas' Lindsey Naganuma, the No. 3 seed. The match went to three sets and Naganuma won the third 7-5.

The doubles tournament proved to be far more volatile.

In fact, only one of the top four seeds in the tournament made it to the semifinals.

"It was really wide open this year. I thought, on any given day, any of the top eight teams in the league could beat anyone else," Branam said.

Lake Oswego's top doubles team of Abby Meier and Kate Wardrop got what proved to be a brutally tough draw.

In the second round, the Lakers faced Lakeridge's Olivia Moore and Stacey Strovink, the Pacers' No. 3 doubles team who entered the tournament unseeded.

"You never know what's going to happen in the tournament. That team proved it wasn't a fluke. They deserved to win," Branam said.

Moore and Strovink were terrific in the match, taking home a 6-3, 6-3 decision.

That pair then knocked off a strong team from West Linn 6-0, 6-2 to advance to the semifinals.

There they took on the No. 5 seed in the tournament, Lake Oswego's Heather Aholt and Sophia Liu.

Liu and Aholt won their first two matches handily and, in the quarterfinals, they took on the No. 4 seed from Canby.

But the Laker pair was rock solid, winning in straight sets again 6-3, 6-4.

In the semifinals, the match went to three sets with Moore and Strovink winning 6-1, 2-6, 6-1. The Pacers would end up as district runners up after losing to West Linn's top team in the finals.

Also making the quarterfinals was Lake Oswego's Caroline Dorman and Jane Zahniser who, in the second round, knocked off Lakeridg'es Emily Onustock and Anna Seydel in a terrific three-set showdown.

The advancing Lakers and Pacers will now gear up for the state tournament which will be played next week at the Portland Tennis Center and Tualatin Hills Recreation Center.