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CdM's Thaxter fights until very end

Girls' Tennis

Sophomore loses semifinal of PCL individual tourney, but is making progress in battle against atypical migraine headaches.

November 02, 2011|By Matt Szabo
(Scott Smeltzer…)

IRVINE — Lauren Thaxter was in and out of the Corona del Mar High girls' tennis lineup during the second half of league.

The CdM sophomore started three Pacific Coast League matches that she couldn't finish.

Each time, Coach Brian Ricker thought Thaxter's season might be over.

Each time, there was Thaxter the next day at practice.

Everybody would have understood if Thaxter shut it down for the season. It has been a very challenging time for her since she was diagnosed with atypical migraine headaches earlier this fall. The Sea Kings' top returning player missed five weeks, a huge chunk of the season.

She still has what she calls "episodes," the migraines leaving her very weak and certainly unable to play tennis. When Thaxter or her mother Jayne says she's having a "bad day," the meaning is understood.

Lauren Thaxter had two great days at this week's Pacific Coast League individual finals. She finished fourth in singles after she was beaten by No. 3-seeded Northwood sophomore Chloe Pham, 6-3, 0-6, 6-2, on Wednesday at Beckman. Thaxter then defaulted the third-place match.

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The days were not great because of the results, coming up a match short of advancing to CIF Individuals.

They were great because Thaxter is getting her life back.

She went toe-to-toe with some of the best players in Orange County, coming back to upset No. 2 seed Krystal Lai of University in the PCL quarterfinals on Tuesday night.

"In the big picture, there's the migraine issue, but she also played a two-hour match [Tuesday] night," Ricker said. "She hadn't played a competitive match in two months. It was a hard match, and that's going to make everyone tired and sore the next day. The negative is that she lost [Wednesday] when she had a chance, but the positive is that she had two great days in regards to her moving forward and getting control of her migraines. Those are the first competitive matches she's been able to play.

"She just battled like crazy. The most important thing to her is getting back to her normal life. Her mom tells me academically, she can study full-time and she's in school full-time. One of the last big steps is getting back to her normal tennis routine. She loves tennis."

Thaxter said she was still feeling sick Wednesday. On the changeovers she had an unusual drink for a tennis player, Lipton brisk iced tea, as Ricker said she needed the caffeine since she was also feeling tired.

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