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Parker, Maguire win state doubles championship

The Laker pair boosts its team to a 4th place finish. Laker and Pacer boys have strong showings as well
by: Matthew Sherman, 
Madeline Parker hits a shot from the baseline in the opening set of the doubles state championship match last Saturday at Tualatin Hills Tennis Center.

Madeline Parker and Molly Maguire have been friends since the 5th grade and almost from that time on, they have talked about winning a state championship together in tennis.

And last Saturday, as seniors, the girls accomplished that goal in dramatic fashion. On an exceedingly hot day and with the added pressure of playing on Tualatin Hills' stadium court, Parker and Maguire came away with an impressive three-set victory over a talented Jesuit duo.

'It was a lot of fun. (The atmosphere) was like playing in a professional tournament,' Parker said.

Even though the Lakers earned the tournament's No. 1 seed it was difficult to assess how much of a favorite, if at all, they were to win the title.

That's because the Crusader team, which was the No. 2 seed, had played limited matches together as Steffanie Mortera and Sanji Rao primarily played singles during the regular season.

And Parker and Maguire faced little competition until that final match. In fact, the pair received their toughest battle in their first contest. After a first-round bye, the Lakers took on league foes Alex Smith and Kellie Kawasaki from West Linn and trailed at times in the first and second set but still won 6-3, 6-2.

Then the pair went on a roll, winning the next two matches without dropping a game.

That set up the state title showdown.

Parker and Maguire were slightly more consistent in the first set, using solid ground strokes and hitting away from the aggressive Mortera.

As a result, the Lakers turned a slim advantage into a 6-4 first-set win.

But the teams were very evenly matched and it showed. The Lakers and Crusaders traded games for the entire second set which, unsurprisingly, went to a tiebreaker. With its back against the wall, Jesuit won the tiebreak 7-3, setting up an intense third set.

The match turned out to be the longest of the day and the heat continued to rise throughout the afternoon.

But Maguire and Parker weren't fazed. The pair took an early lead and then weathered Jesuit's comeback, ultimately holding a 5-4 advantage.

'We just kept telling each other that we wanted this more. We knew that we just had to look confident and play that way,' Maguire said.

Lake Oswego didn't let the opportunity slip away, winning the next game convincingly, which sparked a big hug between the two friends.

'We were thrilled for Molly and Madeline. They were like coaches with the rest of the girls during the tournament and everyone wanted them to succeed,' Laker coach Debbie Ford said.

Also in doubles, two other Lake Oswego pairs dealt with heartbreaking opening round losses, the teams of Hayley Standage and Stephanie Wolfram and Megan MacKenzie and Lindsey Rossman played in a combined four sets that went to tiebreaks with each team losing the third and decisive set in their respective matches by the slimmest of margins.

Both matches were extremely well-played against a pair of solid duos. In fact, both teams that defeated the Lakers ultimately made it to the semifinals.

In the consolation bracket, MacKenzie and Rossman won their first two matches 9-7 and 8-4 before losing in the consolation semifinals 6-8.

Had that pair won that match, it would have faced Standage and Wolfram in the consolation finals. Wolfram and Standage cruised in their first three consolation matches and then won the final in three sets.

'Winning that match just shows how strong a team they are,' Ford said.

In singles, Bailey Westwood drew Lincoln freshman Belinda Niu in the first round. Niu, who cruised to a state championship, was unseeded because she didn't play in enough league matches in the regular season.

Westwood took a game off Niu which was actually more than the tournament's No. 2 seed could do in the state championship match.

Westwood won two matches in consolations before bowing out in the semifinals.

The Lakers' Leslie Levine dropped a tough three-set match in her opening round and won a match in consolation before losing to the eventual consolation champion from Beaverton.

Lake Oswego will graduate its top three players this year in Markie Westwood, Parker and Maguire but should still have plenty of depth heading into next spring.

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In the boys tournament, the Lakers and Pacers did much of their damage in the consolation brackets. In singles, the only local player to advance in the championship bracket was Lakeridge's Brian Hughes.

Hughes won a tough three-set match in the opening round before running into Peter Jones, the tournament's No. 4 seed from Lincoln. Jones won in straight sets and nearly advanced to the state title match later in the tournament.

Lakeridge's Don Bagwell and Lake Oswego's Paul Beard each had tough draws in the tournament and lost in the opening round.

In doubles, the Pacers picked up another win when the team of Felix Poch and Ben Shipley won a tough two-set match in their opener.

The pair then fell to a team from Jesuit that ended up advancing to the semifinals.

Lake Oswego's Bobby Thurston and Trevor Chase played in a stellar opening round match against Sprague, splitting the first two sets before falling in the third.

But the Laker pair wasn't down for long.

Thurston and Chase rolled in their first consolation match and then won their next two 8-3 to advanced to the consolation championship match.

There the Lakers took on a duo from Lincoln and Thurston and Chase won a close battle 7-6, 6-4, completing a stellar season.