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Girls' Tennis: Thaxter leads CdM to win

Senior sweeps at No. 1 singles as Sea Kings top Mira Costa, prepare for University.

October 02, 2013|By Matt Szabo

Lauren Thaxter knew that Wednesday's nonleague girls' tennis match against Manhattan Beach Mira Costa was important, so she definitely wanted to play all three sets.

Sometimes that's easier said than done for Thaxter, a Corona del Mar High senior who has suffered from atypical migraine headaches for the past two-plus years. She only played one set in Tuesday's Pacific Coast League win over Woodbridge.

But the Thaxters had a new weapon this time: oxygen.

For the first time, Thaxter's mother, Jayne, brought a small black container which held an oxygen mask to the match. Lauren used it before, and during, the match.

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"It takes away some of the pain," said Jayne Thaxter, who is a pediatrician.

And if there's one thing that's true about Lauren, a four-year varsity starter, it's that she's going to fight if she's on the court.

She swept at No. 1 singles as the Sea Kings earned a big win over the Mustangs, 11-7, at CdM.

The match was important, as CdM is ranked No. 4 in CIF Southern Section Division 1 and Mira Costa is No. 5. They could possibly meet again in the CIF quarterfinals.

Thaxter put the finishing touches on the victory. In the last set on court, she rallied for a 7-6 (7-4) victory over Mira Costa freshman Amy Gaal.

"I thought Thaxter had a great day today," CdM Coach Brian Ricker said. "Three matches in one week, plus her school, plus her studies is too much. We just have to figure out the right formula for her. It's not that she couldn't have played more [Tuesday], but then she might not have been able to play all three today. Then we also have Uni [on Thursday], which is also a big match. It's more like management of how much she can put in each week."

Against Gaal, Thaxter mixed things up, hitting "moonballs" at times but also connecting on her most powerful weapon, her backhand.

"Her biggest qualities are how smart she plays and what a huge fighter she is," Ricker said. "Then she has that great backhand. When she was younger, I think she was more of a 'moonballer' ... but when someone can throw in moonballs and then step up and hit a ball, go on the offense, that causes a lot of trouble for opponents. Lauren's definitely good at that. She doesn't allow her opponent to get in any form of rhythm whatsoever.

"Even when she's on defense, she's really on the offense, because she's forcing the opponent to play her style of game."

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