St. Charles East survives heat, North Stars
Perhaps an ice bath would have been an appropriate way to end the day for the girls' tennis players from St. Charles East and St. Charles North Tuesday night.
Playing in 90-degree temperatures, the Saints improved their dual meet record to 5-0 overall (2-0 in Upstate Eight Conference River Division matches) with an impressive 6-1 triumph over their cross-town rival North Stars (3-2, 1-1) at St. Charles East.
"I think the term I would use for today is perseverance," said Saints coach Sena Drawer. "As hot as it was, especially for the singles players going as long as they had to play, their conditioning really paid off."
Two of the day's longest matches came at first and second singles where the Saints' Sarah Church and Jaci Spoerl prevailed in grueling 3-set matches against the North Stars' Emma Spellman and Micaela Mascha.
Church dropped the first set to Spellman, 2-6, before rallying to take the next 2 sets, 6-1 and 6-3.
"It was a rough start but she (Spellman) hit some great shots," said Church. "She had an amazing serve and some great put-away shots."
Church credited her teammates with the comeback.
"The girls cheered each other on," said Church. "It's really important to have that support and it was that support that gave me the energy and kept me going."
"That definitely was a match of conditioning," said Drawer. "She persevered."
Spoerl, a junior, also showed her determination while outlasting Mascha, 4-6, 7-6 (8), 6-4. In the third set, she rallied from 2-0 and 4-3 deficits before taking the last 3 games.
At first doubles, Saints seniors Haydyn Jones and Kelsie Roberton continued their fast start to the season with a 6-2, 6-3 triumph over St. Charles North's Brittany Rohrsen and Lianne Anderson.
"Our volleys were very good today," said Roberton, who didn't seem fazed by the oppressive conditions. "I really enjoy playing in the heat."
Last weekend, Jones and Roberton knocked off the top seeded team from Fenwick in the opening round en route to capturing the No. 1 doubles title at the Fremd Invitational, where the Saints placed second in the team standings.
"That was wonderful because we haven't won a trophy in a long time," said Drawer.
"This year, we're a lot more mature as players," said Jones, who advanced to the state tournament alongside Roberton last season. "We've definitely learned how to be a lot more patient in our points and that's important. We're not only power players anymore."
St. Charles East swept the doubles matches behind Alexa and Carly Huskisson (No. 2), Emmy Russell and Jamie Youngberg (No. 3), and Kelly Rinker and Katie Downing (No. 4).
The Saints also claimed the non-scoring matches, as Pruthui Patel won at fourth singles (6-0, 6-0), and seniors Jenna DeMarco and Erin Sullivan won at fifth doubles (6-4, 6-1).
Senior Kaity Wolfe claimed the North Stars' lone win at third singles (7-5, 6-3) over Sam Maze.
"Kaity got our point and Emma (Spellman) was in her match," said North Stars coach Eve Tubman. "She (Spellman) has improved remarkably since last year.
"With our inexperience, we knew it was going to be a little tough today," added Tubman. "We were hoping to maybe sneak one by at three or four (doubles)."
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