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Reunited — and they're playing so good

GIRLS TENNIS: Tualatin's Natalie Campbell and Abby Messenger are playing doubles together again
by: DAN BROOD, DOUBLE TROUBLE – Tualatin senior Abby Messenger smacks a shot while playing at the net in No. 1 doubles action. Messenger and Natalie Campbell won 6-0, 6-1.

TUALATIN - Natalie Campbell and Abby Messenger formed a pretty good tennis doubles team when they were Tualatin High School sophomores.

They clicked so well together, in fact, that they came within one match of qualifying for the state tournament.

Last year, as juniors, Campbell and Messenger played on separate doubles team for the Timberwolves. And, again, they found plenty of success as both of their teams advanced to play in the Class 4A state tournament.

Now, as seniors at Tualatin, Campbell and Messenger are together on the court again.

That's something that they're very happy about - and, they believe, it's something that can lead to a lot of fun and much more success.

That's something that they're very happy about - and, they believe, it's something that can lead to a lot of fun and much more success.

'I love that I can play with Natalie again,' Messenger said following the duo's 6-0, 6-1 win over Forest Grove's Charlie Gamje and Milaine Dickenson a No. 1 doubles match played Monday at Tualatin High School. 'We know each other's strengths and weaknesses.'

'We compliment each other well. I think I said that when we were sophomores,' Campbell added with a laugh. 'We're the only two seniors on the team, and, since we played together before, we thought it would be a good match.'

So far this season, it certainly seems to have worked out that way.

Campbell and Messenger have won all three of their No. 1 doubles matches in Pacific Conference play in straight sets. They've lost just seven games total in those three matches.

And, in addition to winning, the seniors are enjoying their time together on the court.

'We have fun together,' Campbell said.

'We're always positive with each other,' Messenger added.

That said, Campbell and Messenger also have some lofty goals for the rest of the season.

'We have high hopes,' Campbell said. 'It would be cool if we could win league.'

'I'm looking forward to district,' Messenger said. 'I want to see how we could do playing together.'

They're together as a team now, but, playing on different Tualatin doubles teams last year could also benefit the duo.

'I think it will help us,' Campbell said. 'It was a different experience.'

'I think, because of that, we're coming into this year with a new motivation,' Messenger said. 'And we're having so much fun.'

Campbell and Messenger, with their win on Monday, helped the Wolves sprint out to a 4-0 win over Forest Grove before the match was suspended by rain.

In the No. 1 singles match, Tualatin junior Marty Pellicano posted a 6-0, 6-1 win over Forest Grove's Katie Heesacker.

The Wolves' Maddie Bachhuber and Anna Hildebran scored a 6-0, 6-1 victory over the Brittany Riorson and Kristina Kay Kendahl at No. 2 doubles. At No. 3 doubles, Tualatin's Erica Bocchi and Erika Welsh downed Forest Grove's Bea Kamp and Lilli Kamp 6-1, 6-2.

Rain hit before the other matches could be completed. They'll be finished today (Thursday) at Tualatin High School, weather permitting. But, going into today's matches, Tualatin had already clinched the team victory, which would give the Wolves a 3-0 league record.

Last Thursday, Tualatin scored a 7-1 win over Canby in a Pacific Conference match held at Tualatin High School.

The Wolves swept the singles matches, getting victories from Pellicano, Leah Hoffee, Lauren Butz and Kathleen Shangraw.