The last girls tennis meet of the regular season has been crossed off the schedule. Crunch time is here.
Host Benet and York did battle Monday afternoon in the final tuneup before both squads face their respective conference meets this weekend. Benet edged the Dukes 4-3.
Going into the East Suburban Catholic Conference championship, this Friday and Saturday in Joliet, all of Monday's Redwings' lineup is undefeated in league play, according to coach Michael Hand.
"For the most part I like where we're at. There are a couple of things we can tweak," Hand said. "The last two weeks we've been building momentum going into Friday and of course the following Friday (sectionals).
The Redwings' four victories against the Dukes included two in singles play. Allyce Gaborik won at No. 1 and Caroline Arnold prevailed at No. 2. Both won in straight sets and did not lose a game.
"I feel pretty good. I thought I played well," Gaborik said. "I like my serving (going into conference). I had some good aces today."
Kendall Schrader and Daniella Nenadovich won at No. 1 doubles for Benet as did their teammates Maddie Becker and Lauren Immink at No. 2.
"We're volleying pretty well. We're pretty confident going into conference," Schrader said.
As for York, coach Tres Heimann believes the Dukes are capable of finishing strong in the West Suburban Silver. That league meet runs Friday and Saturday at Lyons Twp.
"I think we'll be in the hunt for third," Heimann said. "Hinsdale Central and Glenbard West have pretty much separated themselves from the pack. We beat Oak Park-River Forest 4-3 and lost to Lyons Township 4-3 and that's why I think we'll be in the battle for third."
Victories by the Dukes on Monday came from Lauren Fonorow and Cristina Gambon at No. 3 doubles and Micki Neidigh and Rachel Kayman were victors at No. 4. Eva Jacobsthal won at No. 3 singles.
Heimann likes how his doubles teams are looking going into the WSC Silver meet. Melissa Cartis and Gianna Nikoleit are 20-plus wins singles players, but they are 6-2 as a doubles team at No. 1 doubles, and Heimann said they will likely be paired for the conference meet.
The two players believe the switch to doubles has had its challenges.
"We're better players in the back as singles players are. We have had a more difficult time getting to the net. But we're getting better on volleying and that will help us being more aggressive towards the net," Nikoleit said.