Girls Tennis Battles Tough Competition in the Heat of Champaign, Takes 2nd out of 8
The Mustang varsity girls tennis team faced a strong collection of teams from Southern Illinois as well as the Naperville Central Redhawks down in Champaign this past Saturday. The Mustangs were resilient and gritty winning 9 of 12 matches on the day as a team earning a 2nd place finish. It was a doubles only invite with 4 doubles teams in play. At every position, the Mustangs won at least 2 of 3 matches on the day. The Mustangs took their two freshmen singles players Gerda Jucys (Fr, 20-6) and Jillian Urgello (Fr, 20-7) and teamed them with senior captains Abby Davenport (Sr, 15-11) and Anna Buie (Sr, 14-10) as this was a unique opportunity to allow the freshmen stars to play with the senior leaders. At the 4th doubles position, Kristiana Radakovic (Sr, 14-8) and Cece Divis (Sr, 16-7) bounced back after a tough first round loss to Naperville Central, winning their next 2 matches on the day. The 3rd doubles position proved to be the toughest draw of the day where Urgello and Buie faced a tandem of singles players from St. Anthony's that pushed the Mustangs to their limits. Still, the Mustangs showed grit defeating St. Anthony's in a tiebreaker. It was more of the same in the semifinal against Danville where DGS faced eventual champions losing in a tightly contested tiebreaker. Mustangs came right back in dominant fashion in the 3rd place match to close their day on a high note. At the 2nd doubles position, constantly improving tandem of Alisha Macas (Jr, 17-9) and Lizzie Andonova (Jr, 17-9) were dominant in first two matches of the day cruising to the finals where they faced off in a war against Naperville Central. Macas and Andonova played some of their best tennis on the year, but came up just short in 3 sets against the Redhawks to finish 2nd for the tourney. The highlight of the tourney was 1st doubles team of Jucys and Davenport. Jucys and Davenport drew 1st seeded Ottawa in the 1st round, but showed they were the team deserving of a high seed in a dominant 6-2, 6-2 win. Next, Jucys and Davenport faced eventual 3rd place team of Bloomington Central Catholic who brought big groundstrokes and a vast amount of doubles experience. In an up and down nervous match, the Mustangs prevailed 4-6, 6-2, 10-8 to advance to the finals against Naperville Central. This was where the Mustangs hit their stride playing the best doubles DGS has seen all year in a dominant performance defeating the Redhawks 6-2, 6-4 to earn 1st place at the top doubles position - an awesome result. The Mustangs came up a couple points short of the Redhawks, but a 2nd place finish in a field of tough competition was a great confidence-building result for the Mustangs (12-8) who move into a lighter week with a match against Proviso East on Tuesday before the 32 team Lockport tournament on Friday and Saturday. It was a GREAT weekend to be a Mustang!