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Laker netters take second in girls tournament

by: Jaime Valdez, 
Lake Oswego’s Markie Westwood returns a shot during the doubles final at the state tennis tournament. Westwood and teammate Molly Maguire lost that match to a team from Jesuit.

There was plenty of tennis to watch over a three-day period last week, especially if you were a Lake Oswego fan. Both Lakers teams posted top-five finishes at the state tournament while the Lakeridge boys finished 12th.

The Laker girls fared the best, taking second place overall, one spot better than last year's finish. Lake Oswego was expected to compete with Jesuit for the team title but the Crusaders were almost comically dominant, taking first and second place in singles and advancing three doubles teams to the semifinals.

But there were still some stellar performances from the Lakers. In singles, Madeline Parker easily won her opening match before her showdown with fourth-seeded Danielle Farmer.

Parker had a number of opportunities to take the first set but fell in a tiebreaker and then dropped a close second set 6-4.

'Madeline came very close. I think she played extremely well but Danielle had a great tournament,' Laker coach Debbie Ford said.

Bailey Westwood and Hayley Standage each lost in the opening round but advanced to the consolation semifinals. Westwood nearly made the consolation finals but fell in a tiebreaker.

In doubles, Megan Cougill and Dayna Remmers survived a difficult first-round match, winning in three sets and then took West Linn's Kellie Kawasaki and Alex Smith, a team that had beaten them twice previously, into a third set but fell 6-4.

'Dayna and Megan played two great matches. It was a nice way to end their careers,' Ford said.

Lake Oswego's top seeded team of Markie Westwood and Molly Maguire had a tough test in the quarterfinals against North Medford, splitting the first two sets. However, the Lakers regrouped and played consistently in the third set, winning it 6-2.

Westwood and Maguire then cruised into the finals with a 6-0, 6-1 victory, setting up a showdown with Jesuit's top pair, Clare Dodge and Steffanie Mortera.

The championship match was one of the most intense of the tournament and drew a standing room only crowd. Virtually every game was decided by the slimmest of margins.

The Lakers fell behind early in the first set but rallied to tie it before falling 5-7. Then Westwood and Maguire upped their play and eked out a 7-5 win in the second set.

Lake Oswego took a slim lead in the determining set but the Crusaders rallied back valiantly, taking a 6-5 lead. Westwood and Maguire fought off two match points before eventually falling 5-7.

'They were a very good team and it was obvious that neither team was going to go away. It was a very even match,' Ford said.

The Lakers earned 14 total points, which was enough for second place.

Lake Oswego's boys team also put up a strong showing. Top singles player Keith Meagher had an easy opening round match but then dropped the opening set in the second round against the tournament's fourth seed.

But Meagher rallied and won the next two sets 6-4, 6-4 to move on in the bracket. Meagher moved into the semifinals with a victory in straight sets but was eventually upended by Sprague's Nick Wales.

Meagher ended up taking fourth place overall.

The Laker doubles team of Garrett Smith and Lucas Manfield survived a tough opening round match with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 victory but then dropped an equally close battle in the second round, falling 1-6, 6-1, 7-6 to Central Catholic's top team. The final set was decided by the slimmest of margins as Smith and Manfield lost 8-6 in the tiebreaker.

Lake Oswego's other doubles team of David Mai and David Sklenar had some tough luck at the tournament losing two close matches. But the team scored enough points to earn a fifth-place finish.

Meanwhile, the Pacers contingent had a strong showing. The doubles team of Grant Branam and Frank Chen won a three-set battle in the opening round 6-7, 6-2, 6-3 before being upended by the eventual state champions.

But the highlight for Lakeridge was the play of singles player Sean Eberle. Although the senior lost in the opening round, he rallied impressively.

Eberle stormed through the consolation bracket, winning his first three matches 8-2, 8-2 and 8-1, respectively, to earn a spot in the consolation finals.

That set up a three-set match in the finals. Eberle opened the match on fire, winning 6-0 but dropped the second set in a tiebreaker. Eberle then regained the momentum and won the final set 6-2 to end his high school career.