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updated: 9/15/2012 8:29 PM

Cool-under-pressure Fremd wins at Hersey

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By Jonathan Jones
Daily Herald Correspondent

Fremd got heroics from two sophomores as the Vikings notched a first-place finish in the Hersey Invitational on Saturday afternoon.

Vikings coach Lauren Hall tweaked her lineup to pair sophomore Alice Zhang with Caroline Freeman. They ended up winning the decisive match against Prairie Ridge 6-1, 7-6 (8-6), allowing Fremd beat the Wolves 3-2 and take home the winner's plaque.

Zhang and Freeman knew they had to be focused after seeing their teammates beside them falter at No. 2 doubles. Fremd senior Holly Kometer and junior Amy Byrne, at first and second singles, also notched wins Saturday in their matches against Prairie Ridge.

"This gives us more confidence," Zhang said. "We knew we had to focus and keep our consistency. We had to stay positive."

Fremd beat Downers Grove South 4-1 and Carmel 3-2 before meeting with Prairie Ridge in the final.

"We enjoy this format," Hall said. "It's good for the team and for bonding. Everyone has been flexible with the changes I made for the lineup and it worked out for us. The girls stayed very composed throughout the whole day."

Hersey, Rolling Meadows and Leyden also participated in the team invitational Saturday.

Hersey took fourth place after defeating Leyden in the first round 5-0 and faltering to Prairie Ridge in the second round. After a long fought battle for the third place position, Carmel registered the win.

"Team unity is a big deal for us -- we're like a big family," said Hersey No. 2 singles player Sara Magnuson (10-1), who won her second match against Prairie Ridge. "I really need to practice second serves because I double faulted twice a lot. This gets us focus into the (MSL) meet. That's my favorite week because it gets us really pumped up."

Rolling Meadows had a rough day overall, but returning state doubles qualifiers Jackie and Allie Kemph (9-6) showed no signs of fatigue in a long day in the sun, defeating all three of their opponents in two sets.

Mustangs coach Jim Gumz felt the meet was very helpful for a difficult and crucial upcoming schedule featuring Buffalo Grove, Hersey and Prospect.

"(The Kemphs) haven't had a good Saturday meet in a while," said Jackie Kemph. "We want to make sure we have different meets like this so we can get the team together ready for conference."

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