Grangers reach elite eight

Published 11:48 pm Thursday, April 20, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

LAGRANGE – They’re back.

The LaGrange Grangers beat the Westover Patriots 5-0 on Thursday to advance to the elite eight of the state tennis tournament for the second straight year.

LaGrange dominated Westover, winning each of the five matches in straight sets.

LaGrange’s two doubles teams didn’t lose a game, and the three singles players also won easily.

It’s the continuation of a fantastic season for the Grangers (19-3), who have won a region championship as well as two matches in the state tournament.

Now, LaGrange will look to take it another step and reach the final four.

“During my four years, we made it (to the final eight) once, and that was last year,” said Tiger Lakwwahni, part of a victorious doubles team along with Will Hunnicutt. “If we’re able to make it past the elite eight, that’s going to be very special for us.”

Lakhwani and Hunnicutt played at number two doubles, and they beat Keewon Mathis and Antonio Allen 6-0, 6-0.

Lakhwani and Hunnicutt have been playing doubles together most of the season, and they’ve been nearly unbeatable.

“We’re very comfortable,” Lakwahni said. “We have so much chemistry together. All of the team does.”

At number one doubles, Gavin Battle and Jackson Kuerzi have proven to be an imposing duo as well, and they beat Jarret Smith and Joncejay Robinson 6-0, 6-0.

The singles matches were marginally more competitive, although the outcomes were never in doubt.

At number one singles, Blade Kendall beat John Hatcher 6-3, 6-0, Pierce Skinner handled Marcial Saavedra 6-3, 6-2 at number two singles, and Tony Choi eased past Alex Clenney 6-1, 6-0 at number three singles.