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LaGrange tennis team headed to final four

By Kevin Eckleberry

kevin.eckleberry@lagrangenews.com

COLLEGE PARK – The match was on Blade Kendall’s racket.

The LaGrange High tennis team had a 2-1 lead over Woodward Academy on Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the Class AAAA state tournament.

The Grangers needed one more win to secure the victory and advance to the final four, and Kendall’s match at number one singles was in the third set.

Kendall made it happen.

After losing the first set, Kendall won the final two sets to secure the victory and give his team the decisive point.

Tony Choi was in the third set at number three singles, and his match was pulled since LaGrange had already clinched the victory.

LaGrange’s other wins came at number one doubles with Jackson Kuerzi and Gavin Battle getting the straight-sets win, and Pierce Skinner won in straight sets at number two singles.

Tiger Lakhwani and Youngha Cho fell short at number two doubles.

Choi and Kendall were the final two Grangers on the court.

Choi was trailing in the third set, which made Kendall’s match that much more important, and the came through.

“Blade just played the match of his life, and just stayed so cool, and so steady,” LaGrange coach Kenny Moore said. “He made that kid sort of press a little bit, and he just stayed steady and ended up winning. It was a huge victory.”

LaGrange will play the winner of the quarterfinal match between Marist and Jefferson in the semifinals.

RESULTS

No. 1 singles – Blade Kendall (L) beat Derek Zhou, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2

No. 2 singles – Pierce Skinner (L) beat Stuart Gordon, 6-2, 6-3

No. 3 singles – Tony Choi (L) vs. Mikey Steinberg. Choi won first set 6-2, Steinberg won second set 6-2, and Steinberg leading third set 3-1 whenmatch was pulled

No. 1 doubles –  Gavin Battle and Jackson Kuerzi (L) beat Andrew Pressgrove and Finn Gosch, 6-4, 6-2

No. 2 doubles – Myles Ramos and Sanil Sawja (W) beat Tiger Lakhwani and Youngha Cho, 6-0, 7-5