Girls tennis: St. Charles North, Batavia win DuKane doubles titles
The old saying goes that the third time is the charm. St. Charles North senior Tatum Settelmyer smiled while making a slight adjustment Thursday at the DuKane Conference girls tennis tournament.
"Fourth time is the charm," laughed Settelmyer after she and partner Leia Papanicholas pulled out a third-set tiebreaker in the first doubles championship match against Batavia's Leah Puttin and Bella Lins at Lake Park's West campus.
The St. Charles North duo, both seniors, won 6-1, 5-7, 10-5 after losing three times to Puttin and Lins during the regular season.
"Our volleys got a lot better," Settelmyer said of the difference. "Just being way more aggressive."
After a strong first set, the North Stars had a chance to close out the match in the second set.
Batavia rallied, forcing a tiebreaker that the North Stars controlled. Settelmyer, also a basketball player, played strong at the net while the fourth-year varsity player Papanicholas hit consistent shots all over the court.
"We had some points where we were up and down but I think positive attitude really helped," Papanicholas said.
The only three matches Papanicholas and Settelmyer lost this year came against Puttin and Lins. Thursday's defeat was just the second for the Batavia duo.
"Batavia is a great team," North Stars coach Sean Masoncup said. "These girls have been working so hard. I can't tell you how excited I am for them. They are a perfect combo. Leia has some great shots and Tatum is great at the net so it's a great combination. I think we are going into next week's sectional as the 1 seed and we will see where things go."
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the DuKane tournament is taking place over three days at multiple locations this week. First through third singles were held at different sites Wednesday, first and second doubles were played Thursday at the two Lake Park campuses, and the tournament concludes with third and fourth doubles Friday.
Despite the loss in the first doubles title match, the Bulldogs already have clinched the conference team title. On Thursday at Lake Park's East campus, Batavia senior Adriana Carbonara and junior Hailey Durso beat St. Charles East 6-0, 7-5 to win the second doubles crown.
"We're excited about that," Batavia coach Brad Nelson said. "It's been a lot of fun. It's a great group of kids. A lot of them have been playing with us in camps since fourth and fifth grade. It's fun to see the fruits of their labor."
On Wednesday, Lake Park senior Analisa Cruz won her second straight conference championship at first singles. Cruz defeated St. Charles East's Emaira Saini in the final, 6-4, 6-4.
Cruz, who missed the first two weeks this year with an injury, rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the second set to improve to 12-1 this year.
"She relies on her strengths which is always staying steady throughout the entire match," Lake Park coach Ben Hussey said. "(Saini) brought a lot of difficult shots to play but Analisa does a really good job of defending and redirecting the pace the other player brings."
Fox Valley Conference
The FVC got a head start on the conference tournament season, holding its last weekend.
Huntley won the team championship followed by Crystal Lake Central, Jacobs and Cary-Grove.
The Jacobs duo of Kaya Trumbo and Lara Santa-Ines claimed the No. 1 doubles title while Crystal Lake Central's Olivia Johnson and Megan Rapisarda won second doubles.
Huntley took both the third and fourth doubles championships: Kareena Patel and Michelle Chan at No. 3 and Ela Grace Hontansosas and Elizabeth Chong at No. 4.
Jacobs' Chloe Siegfort captured the No. 1 singles title and teammate Isha Desai the second singles crown.
Huntley's Alessandra Rivera won the third singles championship.