Jacobs senior Rachel Buttolph has one individual goal this season -- getting to the girls tennis state tournament.
Buttolph missed out advancing to last year's meet by a match. That has her plenty motivated.
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About a month away from sectionals, Buttolph played a "decent" three matches Saturday to help the Golden Eagles finish third at the Dundee-Crown Invitational.
"I can definitely tell that I've improved a lot since last year," said Buttolph, who went 2-1 on the day. "My goal is state. That's the only thing I'm working for is winning as many matches as I can so I can get a nice seed for state."
Jacobs lost to McHenry in the semifinals. The format for the invitational was two singles matches and two doubles matches. If each team won two matches, the total number of games won was the tiebreaker. The Golden Eagles had beaten McHenry in a normal dual-meet format earlier this season.
McHenry beat Conant, which beat Dundee-Crown in the semifinals, 3-1 in the championship round.
The Golden Eagles swept Dundee-Crown, 4-0, for third place.
Buttolph topped Dundee-Crown's Lexi Hawkey, 6-0, 6-2, in the No. 1 singles match.
"My serve was working really well today," Buttolph said. "My returns have improved in the last week."
Emily Halvorson (No. 2 singles), Dena Kontos/Emma Nickoley (No. 1 doubles) and Lauren Bayer/Sara Elliott (No. 2 doubles) all won in straight sets for Jacobs in the third-place match.
The Chargers beat Elgin in the opening round before losing to Conant and Jacobs.
"It's my first year here coaching and to already come in and already see vast improvement in three weeks is really encouraging," D-C coach Stephanie McClure said.
Conant's only victory in the championship round against McHenry came from No. 2 doubles team of Lisa Lin and Simrin Dhillon. The pair went 3-0 on the day.
Singles players Natalia Migdal (No. 1) and Gabby Kaminski (No. 2) each were 2-1 in the invitational, losing their matches to McHenry.
"I was pleased with our performance," Conant coach Dave Koleno said. "The girls played well. All things considered, we were hoping to get first, but we're OK getting second. It's always nice to bring home some hardware."