by: Vern Uyetake, 
Lake Oswego’s Hayley Standage follows through on a forehand shot during last Thursday’s tennis match against Lakeridge. Standage won her third singles match 6-2, 7-6. She also won the third singles bracket of the Jesuit Invitational.

It took long enough but the first Civil War tennis match of the season in girls tennis was finally played last Thursday. Due to myriad rain-outs, only a handful of matches had been completed prior to last week and now teams all over the state are scrambling to get the regular season completed before districts.

As a result, both the Lakers and Pacers have the bulk of their most competitive matches still ahead of them, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, assuming that the weather holds up.

'To have some of our best matches bundled together at the end is good for all of us. I think it will help us peaking at the right time and it should be pretty exciting,' Laker coach Debbie Ford said.

Last Thursday, Lake Oswego flexed its muscles in an impressive 8-0 victory. But the Pacers had some standout performances in the loss.

The top of Lake Oswego's bracket looked unbeatable and Madeline Parker won her first singles match 6-0, 6-0. Parker has hit her stride recently and could be a major factor at this year's state tournament.

The Lakers' top doubles team of Markie Westwood and Molly Maguire also had little trouble in its match, winning 6-0, 6-3. Westwood and Maguire made it to last year's state semifinals and should be seeded this year as well.

'It was good to get this match in. All of our players still have some rust but Lakeridge is a tough team. They have some very good players,' Ford said.

One of the best matches of the day took place at third singles. Lake Oswego's Hayley Standage topped the Pacers' Olivia Stark 6-2 in the first set but Stark rallied and took a 5-2 lead in the second set. However, Standage was able to claw her way back from match-game for the second time in two weeks and won the tiebreaker 7-4.

'It's been great to see Hayley playing some tough matches and pulling them out,' Ford said.

Third doubles was also well-fought. The Lakers' Megan MacKenzie and Lindsay Cowan battled Lakeridge's Stephanie Higgins and McKenzie Ingram.

Neither team was able to seize control of the first set, which went back and forth. Eventually MacKenzie and Cowan emerged with a 7-5 victory. The second set was equally close with a similar result as the Laker team won 6-4 and claimed the match.

At second singles, the Pacers' Julie Irvine gave Bailey Westwood a good match after Irvine had lost to Westwood previously at the Jesuit Invitational.

The match was Lake Oswego's first against either Lakeridge or West Linn, the two teams who generally pose the biggest challenge to the Lakers. Lakeridge took on West Linn very early in the season and lost a very tight decision.

The Lakers still have a pair of matches against the Lions ahead of them along with their rematch with Lakeridge.

'This has probably been the worst season for weather I've seen in the six years I've been here,' Ford said.

Both teams also competed in the Jesuit Invitational, held two weekends ago. Lake Oswego tied Jesuit for first place in the competitive four-team event and won four individual titles.

The team of Westwood and Maguire advanced to the final of the first doubles bracket and beat Jesuit's top team to claim the championship.

Lake Oswego also won the second singles tournament as Bailey Westwood beat her opponent from Sprague in the final.

Standage won the third singles bracket, rallying from 2-5 down in the second set to win the match. Finally, at fourth singles, Stephanie Wolfram won her bracket.

In seven of eight brackets, the Lakers had players in the championship match.

'It was a very satisfying tournament for us,' Ford said.

It will be a busy week and a half for both the Lakers and Pacers but it should get them in great shape for the district tournament on May 8 and 9 at the Portland Tennis Center.

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