CdM's Thaxter savors every victory at PCL finals


NEWPORT BEACH - It is revealing of Lauren Thaxter's character that when asked about the Pacific Coast League finals -- the girls tennis season's first individual competition -- she opts to reflect on the personal debt she feels she owes to her teammates.

"It's weird, but I want to win more for my team than I want to win for myself," Corona del Mar's top singles player said, "because I wasn't there for them a lot last year. I love my team so much and hope we do well in the future."

Thaxter, who missed large chunks of last season after being diagnosed with atypical migraines, advanced to the PCL semifinals for the second consecutive year with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Beckman's Connie Yoo on Tuesday afternoon at Corona del Mar High.

"It's amazing," Thaxter, a junior, said of her postseason run. "Earlier in the season I thought I wasn't going to be able to play on the team, and now I'm able to excel in the sport I love."

Joining Thaxter in the semifinals are the top two seeds, Kaiulani Boyer and Yuki Asami of University, and the defending PCL singles champion, Stephanie Hazell of Woodbridge.

In the doubles draw, PCL champion University is represented by the top three teams in the tournament -- Shannon Theisen and Danielle Pham, Alyssa Rudin and Shayna Becker, and Celine Gruaz and Kyla Scott.

“There are so many great players in the league finals, and it’s great playing alongside them all,” Thaxter said.

Corona del Mar's No. 1 doubles team, Kenzie Purcifull and Riley Gerdau, complete the quartet.

The PCL finals wrap up Wednesday at Corona del Mar. The semifinals start at 3 p.m. and will be followed by the finals.

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