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updated: 9/29/2012 7:51 PM

Rolling Meadows tourney provides tough test for MSL teams

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By Jonathan Jones
Daily Herald Correspondent

Rolling Meadows hosted its 29th annual Mustang Invitational featuring area teams Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg, Fremd and St. Viator on Saturday morning.

With a sectional bracketing format, Benet Academy and Glenbard West tied for first place with 49 points. Fremd followed with 33 while Lake Zurich finished at fourth at 24 points.

Singles was won by Benet's Leah Tzakis, who defeated Glenbard West's Caroline Maltby 6-2, 6-0 in the championship match. The winning teams were reversed in doubles, as Glenbard West's Ali Bush/Molly Hennessy beat Benet's Mary Beth King/Daniella Reyes for top honors.

Fremd No. 1 senior doubles team Courtney Norenberg and Holly Kometer (7-2) medaled as they took third place. Their day included wins over St. Viator (6-0, 6-2); Rolling Meadows' Allie Kemph and Elizabeth Staffa (6-1, 6-4) and Benet's No. 2 tandem (1-6, 6-2, 10-7).

"We calmed down and took each point as they came," Norenberg said. "We've been best friends since kindergarten, so we don't argue on the court. Wins today set us up as a good argument (for conference and sectional seedings) for where we're going."

Fremd No. 1 singles player Amy Byrne finished fifth after defeating Lake Zurich's Sam Wilson 6-4, 6-2, Rolling Meadows' Erin Barry 6-2, 6-0 and Schaumburg's Katie McClure 6-4, 2-6, 10-6.

Rolling Meadows' top finish was from Kemph and Staffa, who placed seventh. Kemph, who usually plays doubles with her twin sister Jackie, was part of an unusual doubles pairing as Jackie was absent due to college basketball campus visits. The Mustangs were also missing No. 1 singles player Shannon Kulpins due to injury.

Kemph/Staffa went 2-2, defeating two Ottawa foes but faltering against Glenbard West's Grace Norgaard/Molly Hughes 3-6, 6-2, 11-7, and Kometer/Norenberg.

"It was fun to play with each other," Staffa said. "I feel like it helps playing good teams (at the Mustang Invite) for conference. I hope we do well playing teams like Buffalo Grove and Barrington, because they are always tough."

Schaumburg's top finisher was McClure, sixth in singles. She went 2-2, topping Lake Zurich's Breanna Casey 6-2, 4-6, 10-7 and Rolling Meadows' Brittany Khayet 6-2, 6-7 8-6.

"The main thing is conditioning myself for multiple matches because it helps my endurance," McClure said after taking three of the four matches to three sets. "I beat (Byrne) 6-2, 6-4 in dual matches. On a fresher day I can beat her again. I certainly hope I get into state in my final year."

Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg and Fremd will meet for the MSL tournament beginning Thursday at Prospect. All four participating area teams at the Mustang Invite are in the Schaumburg sectional together Oct. 12.

"I think home court in tennis matters," said Rolling Meadows coach Jim Gumz. "We had two of our six starters out today, and we won two more matches than I thought we would have won."

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