Girls tennis: Neuqua Valley repeats in DVC
High school girls tennis players know that the postseason can be played in much colder weather than when the season started in August.
Saturday, though, strong winds were added to the weather mix at the DuPage Valley Conference girls tennis meet at Waubonsie Valley.
That forced players to adjust their games to deal with something that could be considered the equivalent of the annoying action of someone flicking their finger and hitting somebody's head.
"You had to adjust how to hit the ball with movement," said Neuqua Valley junior Sofia Ramos, who with sophomore Emiley Piao, finished second at No. 1 doubles.
Regardless of what conditions there were, it was another day of dominance for Neuqua Valley. The Wildcats defended their league title with 46.5 points, followed by Naperville North at 30.5, Naperville Central at 29.5, Metea Valley with 25 and Waubonsie Valley with 24. DeKalb also competed.
Those totals also include points earned during regular-season dual meets.
All District 203 and 204 teams gather again next weekend at the Naperville North sectional along with East Aurora and West Aurora, Oswego East and Yorkville.
"We played real well today. I hope we are peaking at the right time and we just need to keep practicing," said Neuqua coach Trudy Bennorth.
Three singles and four doubles titles were decided and Neuqua won four of them with freshman Emily Chiou winning at No. 3 singles.
Also DVC champs for the Wildcats were the No. 2 doubles pair of junior Yurui Sun and freshman Hannah Kestenberg.
"We did a good job working together," Kestenberg said.
For Sun it's about priorities.
"We aim to have fun," she said.
Two more doubles titles came from Sarah Wu and Nupur Aroskar at No. 3 and Abigail Allen and Riya Garapati at No. 4.
Naperville Central, Naperville North and Waubonsie Valley won the other DVC individual championships.
Senior Jacquelyne Qi prevailed at No. 1 singles for Naperville Central.
"You had to change your game with the wind especially when you switched sides of the court with going north to south or south to north," she said.
Qi said she expects the sectional meet to be just as tough as the DVC competition.
"The players today all have a good chance at getting to state," she said.
Waubonsie senior Kayla Hess won at No. 2 singles.
"I focused really hard thinking I was going to win," she said. "I looked for the open part of the court and moved her (opponent) around. I did a lot of short balls on her," she said.
Naperville North juniors Tiffany Zhang and Irene Zhang were one of many straight set victories on the day as they won the No. 1 doubles final.
"One side of the court was different with the wind. You needed to add more spin on one side and then hit it hard on the other," Tiffany Zhang said.
Irene Zhang said there were times that the ball needed to be hit hard, but it was crucial not to overdo it.
"We used more margins. We didn't aim for the line because if you hit too hard the wind might take it," she said.