March 21, 2002 11:00 pm

HERMISTON Hermistons tennis players got the best of La Grande Thursday, but the Tigers managed to pull out a pair of boys singles victories and show improvement elsewhere.

Levi Morrison and John Woodfield got the Tigers lone wins. Morrison took a 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 victory over Hermistons Mark Carollo. Woodfield beat Bryant Lloyd 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.

For those two guys to go over and pick up wins over a quality program like Hermiston, thats great, La Grande coach Mike Schireman said.

Otherwise, it was all losses for La Grande, but Schireman saw improvement. Hermistons boys won 3-2 and the girls won 5-0.

Between the last match and this, I feel like were improving, Schireman said. I definitely saw improvement in Courtney Hitchon. Even though she lost oh and oh (6-0, 6-0) today, she played pretty well. There were a lot of games that went to deuce. I think (Shalece) Hibbert and (Karli) Nebeker will come along as a doubles team. Theyre a little rusty; they havent had enough practices yet.

Hitchon lost her No. 3 singles match to Candace Pedro. Hibbert and Nebeker lost their No. 2 doubles match to Lacey Walchli and Michelle Hickey, 6-1, 6-1.

In other girls singles action, La Grandes Hailey Hines lost to Rachel Berger, 6-0, 6-0, and Beth Youngblood lost to Jamie Cimmiyotti, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.

La Grandes Stephanie Keith and Hillary Girrard lost their No. 2 doubles match 6-2, 6-1 to Nicki Nagle and Kim Peterson.

In boys doubles, Matt Nightingale and Greg Schuft lost to Bennett Christensen and Caleb Adams, 6-0, 6-1. La Grandes Seth Pennington and Aaron Nebeker lost 6-0, 6-3 to Hermistons Derek Nagle and Calvin Meade.

Tim Mollerstrom of La Grande lost the No. 3 singles match to Ryan Bell, 6-2, 6-4.

La Grande takes spring break off before playing three schools in five days: Baker at home (April 2), at Umatilla (April 4) and at Vale (April 6).

From Observer staff reports