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La Grandeís Lauren Mills returns a shot Thursday during her doubles match at Eastern Oregon University. Mills and teammate Anna Grigsby claimed a 7-5, 7-5 victory. (Brad Mosher/The Observer)
by Brad Mosher/The Observer
Katalin Sebastian-Azaola zeroed in on her opponent Thursday.
It led to a 3-2 victory over the visiting Lady Vikings from Vale.
La Grande’s top singles player made quick work of her opposition on the Eastern Oregon University tennis courts.
Her 6-0, 6-0 victory took only about 20 minutes and was so fast that the coach almost missed it.
“I only saw two sets. But Kata was smoking,” said tennis coach Mike Schireman. It was Vale’s Cadi Phillips who was on the receiving end of the quick singles decision.
“It was great,” Sebastian-Azaola said. It made the win better for the Tigers’ best singles player since she had to miss the last time the team played the Lady Vikings.
While Sebastian-Azaola cruised, victory came a lot harder for the top La Grande doubles team of Lauren Mills and Anna Grigsby.
The Tiger tandem fell behind early, but were able to rally to claim a 7-5, 7-5 triumph over Vale’s Cecily Feuer and Natalia Castiri both times.
The Tigers also picked up a second crucial win the singles from Ashley Orton. Orton defeated Shania DeRoin by a 6-3, 6-2 margin.
The Vikings picked up two doubles wins. Anna Schoorl and Nena Saunders handed
Sydney Gentleman and Jazmyne Hickey were on the short side of an 8-4 decision to the Vale doubles team of Becca Marvin and Morgan Stills.
The Tigers travel to Baker Saturday for a noon showdown with the Bulldogs.
Boys fall to Vikings
Josh Ebel and Derek Yohannen won two singles matches Thursday, but the Vale Vikings swept two doubles matches and the top singles battle to claim a narrow 3-2 decision.
Vale’s Logan Saunders handed La Grande’s Tanner Willson a 6-3, 6-3 loss in the top singles match.
But Willson’s teammates, Ebel and Yohannen were able to give the Tigers a 2-1 edge in singles.
Ebel defeated Vale’s number-two singles player, Kode Phillips, by a 6-3, 7-5 score, while Yohannen, handed Sasha Shatrouka a 6-1, 6-3 defeat.
In the doubles matches, Jake Thode and Taylor Jacobs gave the Vikings a 6-0, 6-0 victory over La Grande’s Zach Sherrod and Sheyland Sands.
In the second doubles, Wyatt Schlaht and Caleb Owen bounced back from losing the first set 6-0, to win a 6-4 decision in the second, forcing the match to a third set.
But Vale’s Ian Nelson and Marco Leyva came back with a 6-2 win in the final set to give the Vikings the team victory.
“It was really close,” Schireman said.
The Tigers will be going to Nyssa and Vale for the two-day district championships on Thursday and Friday.