LaGrange nets region wins
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
With Pierce Skinner leading the way from the number one singles position, the LaGrange Grangers took care of business against Chapel Hill in a region showdown on Tuesday afternoon at McCluskey Tennis Center.
Skinner earned a hard-earned 9-7 victory over Sam Austin to help the Grangers prevail 4-1.
Skinner, who has been a fixture in the singles lineup for the past few seasons, had to work for it against a formidable opponent on Tuesday.
When the dust settled, it was Skinner walking away with the win.
LaGrange improved to 2-1 in Region 5-AAAA matches, and Skinner has won at number one singles in each of them.
One of those wins for Skinner came against Cartersville, which beat LaGrange in the region-championship match last season.
Skinner outlasted Cartersville’s Will Allen in a thrilling match that went to a third-set tie-breaker.
Cartersville ended up winning 3-2 to hand LaGrange its only region loss so far.
Skinner won another close one on Tuesday, although he felt it was a different sort of match.
“It was really good, especially after the Cartersville match,” Skinner said. “I was able to hit the ball really well. This match, it was more of a gritty, grind-it-out match. It’s good to have those kind of matches going down the road so I can have some experience when I’m not hitting the ball well.”
Also winning a close one on Tuesday was LaGrange’s Baker Skinner, who clipped Davis Kaplan 8-6 at number two singles.
In the number three singles match, LaGrange’s James Lee topped Jack Johnson 8-4.
Chapel Hill’s lone win came at number one doubles, with Evan Shaddon and John Gallo getting past LaGrange’s Cole Crocker and Youngha Cho 8-4.
At number two doubles, LaGrange’s Albert Kim and Brayan Acosta beating Asher Robinson and Floyd Alexander 8-4.
LaGrange won a region title in 2017 and finished second last season, and Pierce Skinner believes things are shaping up for the team to take another run at a title this year.
“We really had a lot of unknowns at the start of the season,” Skinner said. “Right now, I think it’s set us up to win the (Granger Invitational), maybe the region tournament.”
In Tuesday’s girls’ match, LaGrange improved to 3-0 in the region with a 5-0 victory over Chapel Hill.
At number one singles, Wone Mi Oh blanked Megan Holloway 8-0, and Annie Pauley won by the same 8-0 score over Kira Morgan at number two singles.
In the number three singles match, Sydney Edelson handled Shelby Cox 8-5.
Edelson was filling in for normal number three player Louise Dodson, who was sick.
Dodson has enjoyed a successful season that included a crucial victory against Cartersville.
Dodson, in fact, gave LaGrange its only singles victory in that 3-2 win, while both of the doubles teams won.
Against Chapel Hill, LaGrange’s two doubles teams won easily.
At number one doubles, Lizzie Wilkerson and Ella Eiland beat Jordan Dotson and Alexis Hawthorn 8-3.
In the number two doubles match, Kaylee Key and Lauren Yarbrough beat Sydney Bullard and Alyson Rice 8-1.
LaGrange visits East Coweta today before hosting region foe Sandy Creek on Thursday.
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