by: MATTHEW SHERMAN - West Linn's Becca Cruze eyes a backhand during her straight sets win against Grant.The West Linn girls tennis team is off to a strong start this year, picking up victories over Canby and Grant to start the season.

Against Canby, the Lions were dominant in a 6-2 victory. West Linn swept the singles bracket convincingly, dropping just a total of six games in all four matches.

Ella Riddle and Becca Cruze each won in straight sets at No. 1 and No. 2 singles respectively. Ellen rowan scored a 6-2, 6-0 victory at No. 3 singles and Sophia McFadden wont 6-1, 6-2 at No. 4.

West Linn's depth in doubles won it the match. The Lions fell at No. 1 and 2 although the second doubles team of Sara Chung and Emily Yazzolino gave Canby a tough battle in a 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 loss.

At No. 3 doubles, Kate Whitehall and Montgomery Lee Todd swept with a 6-1, 6-2 victory and, at No. 4, Miranda Ounaphom and Sydney Wood won 6-0, 6-1.

Against Grant, the LIons also won 6-2 but it was the doubles bracket that tallied the sweep. Julia Casad and Talia Lichtenberg scored an impressive 6-2, 6-2 win at No. 1 doubles while Whitehall and Lee Todd won 6-4, 6-1 at No. 2.

Ounaphom and Wood won handily at No. 3 while Luisa Kwansy and Yassolino, after winning the first set 6-0, held on to win the second 7-5, preserving the sweep.

In singles, Riddle lost her first match to a league opponent, falling in a tough 6-4, 7-5 match to Kali McCollister.

Cruze won 6-3, 6-3 at No. 2 singles and Rowan won 6-3, 6-1 at No. 3 to help the Lions preserve the victory.

For the boys team, the Lions took on Lakeridge Monday, a team that could be one of the best in the state this year.

West Linn lost 8-0 but battled hard, dropping four matches that went to three sets.

Freshman Matt Perkins captured the opening set at No. 1 singles against Simone Homedes 6-3 but fell in the second set 6-1. Perkins then rallied to force a third-set tiebreaker which he dropped in a very exciting match.

Mitch Tingey also had a three-set nailbiter at No. 2 singles. After falling in the first set, he won the second in a tiebreaker but fell 6-4 in the third.

At second doubles, Sean Borne and Nick Walker won the opening set against the Pacers, as did Nate Minson and Duncan Prince at No. 3.

The Lions are continuing to improve and looking forward to their second meeting this year with Lakeridge.

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