Champions by one point : Sports : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
|Champions by one point|
|Oswego girls' tennis clinches SPC title, defeats Oswego east 27-26 |
|by Kristin Sharp|
Oswego head girls' tennis coach Kristin Clark was expecting the unexpected in last weekend's Southwest Prairie Conference tournament, but she got a little more excitement than she planned.
With the help of her mother, Rebecca Hejtmanek, as well as Oswego JV head coach Linda Keely and even Oswego East head girls' tennis coach Michael Dutton, Clark learned through a text message that the Oswego varsity girls' tennis team would clinch the 2010 SPC title - its second in as many seasons.
Oswego edged out Oswego East 27-26 for the title while Plainfield North finished a distant third with 15 points. Plainfield South (13.5), Plainfield Central (12), Romeoville (4), Minooka (2.5) and Plainfield East (1.5) rounded out the team standings last Saturday.
"My daughter was hospitalized on Friday night and I wasn't able to make it on Saturday," Clark said. "I sent my mom, who works for the district and has coached tennis. My mom got them motivated at the beginning and Linda was able to get there and pick up. Linda, thank goodness for her. I really have to say a big kudos to her. I kept getting updates and the final person to let me know we actually won was coach Dutton. I respect him as a coach and they have phenomenal players. I was so excited for the girls to pull it off. I'm just thankful that everything turned out the way it did."
In the end, Oswego scored 12 points in doubles play and nine in singles action while Oswego East matched the 12 points in doubles, but scored seven points over its three singles players.
"It was probably going to be between the two of us, and we were hoping we'd be on top this time, but we lost a couple of key matches," Dutton said. "There were several opportunities that could have gotten us above Oswego. We just didn't rise to it. Oswego stepped up their play and we didn't play as I hoped we would.
"I think overall the kids gave what they had and that's all we could ask for. When the other team stepped up their game, we didn't step it up as much," Dutton continued.
Oswego and Oswego East met in the championship matches of three different positions last Saturday. At No. 2 singles, Oswego East junior Kelly Zaprzal faced Oswego junior Keri Gooch for first place. Zaprzal reached the match after easily defeating Plainfield South and Plainfield Central without losing a game. Gooch defeated Romeoville 6-1, 6-0 and Plainfield North 6-1, 6-1, but lost in the finals to Zaprzal 6-2, 6-1.
"She had a pretty clean slate all the way through," Dutton said of Zaprzal.
At No. 1 doubles, Oswego East juniors Kylee Jackson and Erinn Brooks clinched the championship with a 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 win over Oswego seniors Reynolds Cross and Miranda Pence.
"That was an intense match," Dutton said of the No. 1 doubles championship.
"We were just making a lot of mistakes and Oswego was taking advantage of the shots we were giving them," Dutton said. "It was some bad decisions early on and in the second set they started to get into the game."
Jackson and Brooks entered as the top seed and defeated Romeoville 6-4, 6-0 and Romeoville 6-1, 6-1 in earlier matches while Pence and Cross, seeded second, won 6-1, 6-0 over Plainfield East and Plainfield North 6-0, 3-6, 6-2.
The District 308 teams also met in the No. 4 doubles championship where Oswego sophomores Caeleigh Morton and Nikki Anderson defeated Oswego East seniors Erika Baltazar and Addie Boettcher 6-2, 6-4. Baltazar and Boettcher, seeded second, reached the finals after defeating Romeoville 6-1, 6-2 and Plainfield North 7-5, 6-4. Meanwhile, Morton and Anderson entered as an unseeded duo and defeated fourth-seeded Plainfield East 6-3, 6-1 and top-seeded Plainfield South 6-0, 7-6 (7-3).
"We've had to move people around at fourth doubles. Nikki Anderson and Caeleigh Morton totally surprised me. They didn't get a seed and they went into the tournament with the least wins together and for them to take first place was huge for us," Clark said.
An Oswego or Oswego East team was represented in each of the other championship bouts last Saturday.
At No. 1 singles, Oswego East freshman Sajela Harlow defeated Plainfield East 6-0, 6-0 and Oswego senior Bre Vergonet 6-0, 6-2 to face Plainfield Central's Ali Foster in the finals. Foster won 6-3, 0-6, 6-4 over Harlow.
Vergonet opened with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Romeoville and rebounded after her loss to Harlow with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Plainfield South to place third overall.
Oswego freshman Courtney Gooch earned her first SPC title at No. 3 singles, defeating Plainfield Central 6-0, 6-1 in the finals after receiving the top seed. Earlier she topped Plainfield North 6-1, 6-0 and Romeoville 6-1, 6-0.
"Everyone has to play their position whether it's first singles or third singles and that's exactly what Courtney did. As a freshman, Courtney's never seen any of these teams," Clark said. "She's a very consistent player and with her hardly having any losses this year, she's just such a strong competitor and wants to win every time."
Oswego East sophomore Rachel Fairbairn entered as the No. 2 seed lost her opening match to Plainfield East 7-5, 6-4. She defeated Plainfield South, but lost to Plainfield North 4-6, 6-0, 3-6 in the fifth-place match.
Oswego East's No. 2 doubles team of seniors Amanda Rohde and Jeanine Kempf clinched the championship after entering as the No. 1 seed. They opened with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Minooka and swept Plainfield South in the semifinals before topping Plainfield North 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 in the finals.
Oswego senior Lizzy Petzke and junior Christie Parkinson entered as the No. 3 seed and placed third overall. They defeated Plainfield Central 6-3, 6-0, but lost to second-seeded Plainfield North 6-3, 5-7, 1-6 before defeating Plainfield South 6-4, 6-4 in the finals.
At No. 3 doubles, Oswego juniors Jena Buss and Rene Keener entered as the No. 3 seed, but placed second overall after defeating Plainfield East 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 7-5 and second-seeded Plainfield North 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 in the semifinals. They lost to Plainfield South 6-4, 5-7, 5-7 in the finals.
Oswego East senior Kelsey Sisler and sophomore Brittney Frederick entered as the top seed and defeated Minooka 6-4, 6-1, but lost to fourth-seeded Plainfield South 7-5, 6-2 to move into the third-place match. There, they lost to Plainfield North 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 2-6 to place fourth.
Oswego and Oswego East now enter the West Aurora Sectional on Friday and Saturday where the teams will compete against Aurora Central Catholic, East Aurora, IMSA, Rosary, Waubonsie Valley, West Aurora, Batavia and Yorkville. The top four singles players and the top four doubles teams will advance to the state finals. Sectional tournament play will be held Friday and Saturday.
Oswego will make a lineup change from its conference roster as Vergonet and Keri Gooch will pair up in doubles for the sectional tournament while Cross and Pence will also play doubles for Oswego. Petzke and Courtney Gooch will fill the two singles positions.
"I'd love for all my seniors to make it downstate because that's a huge honor and I really hope I can get all my seniors out," Clark said. "Miranda and Reynolds have worked so hard for this and I really think they'll be able to get a seed. They have such a great record and they have some good wins to solidify that. I'm just going to keep my fingers crossed. It's not how well you've played in the past; it's how well you play that weekend."