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La Grande’s Jasmyne Hickey returns a volley during her doubles match Thursday against Baker. Chris Baxter/The Observer
The Observer staff
The La Grande girls tennis team picked up a quick victory against rival Baker Thursday, winning the first three of its five matches on its way to a 4-1 victory at Eastern Oregon University.
Exchange student Kata Sebastian-Arcola started the Lady Tigers off with a bang, stopping Baker’s Kaitlyn Uttenreuther with a 6-0, 6-1 win in the top singles battle of the afternoon at the college tennis courts.
But she wasn’t alone as the hosts dominated the singles play against the Lady Bulldogs.
In the second singles, Ashley Orton also gave La Grande a straight-set win (6-3, 6-3) when she stopped Megan Burke of Baker.
But, it was the top doubles team of Ana Grigsby and Lauren Mills who gave the Lady Tigers a 3-0 lead and the victory when they handled Delancey Kee and Rob Hollis of Baker with a 6-0, 6-4 win.
Katie Aldrich gave
Baker closed out the scoring with Hannah Wilson and Lena Bowers of Baker handing Sydney Gentleman and Jasmyne Hickey a 7-5, 6-1 loss.
That was the Bulldogs’ only victory of the day.
Lindsay Livingston of Baker handed Alina Clemmons an 8-1 loss in a JV singles match.
The Tigers will host Weiser (Idaho) Saturday at 3 p.m. in a non-league matchup.
The freshman-laden boys team, however, continued to go through its growing pains, getting swept 4-0 Thursday on their home tennis courts. The team was also playing short-handed because of state FBLA.
The longest match was the doubles battle between the La Grande tandem of Josh Ebel and Wyatt Schaht against Baker’s Isaac Mansuetti and Matthew Barnes.In the first set, the La Grande tandem had a lead, but Mansuetti and Barnes rallied to force a tiebreaker.
The Baker players came back to take the tiebreaker by a 7-5 margin, then won the second set with a 6-1 decision by taking advantage of mistakes by the
Baker boys coach George Keister praised his doubles team. “They got behind 5-2 in the first set then came back to win.”
According to LHS tennis coach Mike Shireman, the boys team played just three singles matches and one doubles Thursday because of scheduling conflicts with another extra-curricular activity.
In the singles matches, Sheylan Sands dropped a 6-2, 6-0 decision to Baker’s top player, Ivan Hansen.
Caleb Owens lost in straight sets (6-0, 6-0) to Jesse Burke of Baker.
Earlier in the season, Schireman had predicted the young boys squad would be going through some rough lessons on the courts, but that they would become better for it because of the experience.
Kata Sebastian-Arcola (LG) def. Kaitlyn Uteenreuther (Baker) 6-0, 6-1
Ashley Orton (LG) def. Megan Burke (Baker) 6-3, 6-3
Katie Aldrich (LG) def. Tori Gentilli (Baker) 6-1, 6-0
Lindsay Livingston (Baker) def. Alina Clemmons (LG), 1-8
Anna Grisby-Lauren Mills (LG) def. Delancey Kee-Rob Hollis (Baker), 6-0, 6-4
Hannah Wilson-Lena Bowers (Baker) def.Sydney Gentleman-Jasmyne Hickey 7-5, 6-1
Ivan Hansen (Baker) def. Sheylan Sands (LG), 2-6, 0-6
Jesse Burke (Baker) def. Caleb Owen (LG), 0-6, 0-6
Thomas Larson (Baker) def. Zach Sherrod (LG) 6-5, 7-5
Isaac Mansuetti-Matthew Barnes (Baker) def. Josh Ebel-Wyatt Schaht (LG) , 6-7 (5-7) , 1-6.