DuKane Conference tennis players got an unexpected day off Saturday.
The conference meet started on Thursday with the first-round matches. Uncompleted contests resumed on Friday. Instead of waiting until Saturday for the remaining rounds, conference members decide to continue to play and finish the tournament Friday.
Batavia, which won the No. 2 and No. 4 doubles titles, took first place in the accelerated meet with a score of 27 points. The Bulldogs finished third in the remaining five categories. Coupled with a 7-0 dual meet league record, Batavia also won the overall conference crown.
Paced by Allie Gizewicz and Maddie Chaggaris’ first-place finishes, St. Charles North took second earning 24 points. Gizewicz took top honors at No. 1 singles while Chaggaris did the same at No. 2 singles.
Wheaton Warrenville South, finishing one point behind the North Stars, ended in third. The Tigers took second place at No. 2 singles, No. 3 singles, No. 1 doubles and No. 3 doubles.
Batavia claimed its third straight overall title.
“We knew that we knew that was going to be challenging,” Batavia coach Brad Nelson said of winning the conference meet three years in a row. “We had the No. 1 seeds in all four of the doubles positions and in singles we had two (No. 3 singles), three (No. 1 singles) and four (No. 2 singles) seeds so we knew that we have to play well just to play to our seeds.”
The Batavia senior duo of Kelly Thoman and Hailey Durso beat Daniela Giacopelli and Sheya Gustafson from St. Charles North to win the No. 2 doubles title.
In the No. 4 doubles championship match, Batavia’s Taylor Steinys and Hannah Schneider got past Wheaton North’s Clara Delzell and Sophia Fadel.
Both the No. 1 doubles team of Leah Puttin and Bella Lins and No. 3 duo of Erin Connolly and Essie Newburn had to bounce back from tough semifinal matches to win the third-place contests.
Puttin and Lins dropped a 3-6, 6-3, 11-9 semifinal match to eventual No. 1 doubles second-place finishers CC Huelskoetter and Leah Auston from Wheaton Warrenville South. The Tigers duo lost the No. 1 doubles championship contest to Caroline Donati and Smita Dhar from St. Charles East. Donati, a senior, won her 100th varsity match during the tournament.
Lake Park’s Halie Patel and Angelique Munoz, who took home No. 3 doubles first-place medals, downed Connolly and Newburn in the No. 3 doubles semifinal.
“Unfortunately for a couple of our doubles teams we had a couple of tough semifinals losses,” Nelson said. “Those were a little unexpected.”
“They did bounce back nicely. It says a lot about their character,” the Batavia coach said. “They knew that they had another match to play and they had to do a good job to help the team out.”
Putin and Lins both have over 100 victories in their varsity careers. Putin is closing in on the Batavia all-time win mark of 129.
“I think she’s at 121. We’ve got a dual meet Tuesday with Metea Valley, then we’ve got the sectional and hopefully advance to state,” said Nelson. “It will be a tough task, but it is something that still is mathematically within the realm of possibility.”
Wheaton North’s Kaylee Phillips won the No. 3 singles championship.
Risha Bhagat took top honors for host Glenbard North, taking fifth place at No. 2 singles.
Annie Tomko, Geneva’s high finisher, took sixth place in No. 2 singles.
The teams will battle against each other again next weekend in Class 2A sectional tournaments. Wheaton Warrenville South and host Lake Park will compete in the Lake Park sectional while the other six DuKane Conference schools battle in the St. Charles East sectional.