Girls tennis: Lake Park repeats as Ram Invitational champion
The Lake Park girls tennis team defended its Ram Invitational title on Saturday at Glenbard East in dominating fashion, winning five of six titles.
However, Glenbard North and Glenbard East didn't leave the courts empty-handed either.
The Lancers finished with 28 points, followed by Glenbard North with 23 and the hosts with 21 with a wide gap between those three teams and the rest of the field.
"We came in as sectional winners the last two years and we're building up. We have to do that as we're younger with a lot of new faces," said Lake Park coach Ben Hussey. "We're putting a lot of pressure on other teams. We're off to a good start.
Junior Analisa Cruz went into this season after reaching the third round of the consolation bracket of the Class 2A finals and winning two matches. On Saturday she won the No. 1 singles final in straight sets.
Cruz said she is a different player from last season.
"As a sophomore, I would get nervous over little things. But I don't stress about it anymore," she said.
The Lancers' Sara Jankovic, a freshman, remained undefeated winning at No. 2 singles, winning every game in the final.
"The day was pretty good. I thought my groundstrokes were really good," she said.
Lake Park's sweep of the doubles competition started with Angela Pasquini and Emma Savage's victory at No. 1. Pasquini said aggressiveness at key times was crucial to the win.
"We were really aggressive at the net and consistent in the backcourt," she said.
Olivia Perez and Lauren Dell'Acqua fought off a tough challenge against Rishika Sonani and Risha Bhaghat of Glenbard North in the No. 2 final with a 6-4, 7-5 effort.
"They got a really strong start. Glenbard North came back in the second set, but (Perez and Dell'Acqua) were able to close," Hussey said.
Lake Park winners at No. 3 doubles, Jayna Patel and Isabella Vitacco, said communication was key to their success Saturday and during the season thus far.
"We move really well. If a volley is hit in the backcourt, we move and talk to each other and try to get it," Patel said.
Host Glenbard East celebrated a title match win at No. 3 singles. Natalie Borcean fought off Glenbard North's Gabby Brun 6-1, 7-5. Borcean spoke highly of Brun.
"It was tough competition with her that last set," Borcean, who had played just one varsity match leading up to Saturday, said.
Glenbard East was second at No. 1 doubles with Kaitlyn Mullins and Rose Carani.
Besides Brun and Sonani/Bhaghat, singles players Sage Hills and Sophie Raval each finished second as did the No. 3 doubles team of Rida Qureshi and Maddie Olejnik.
"They really played hard the first big tournament of the season. Everyone is excited, they're taking home something (medals)," said Glenbard North coach Caroline Gonzalez.