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Gators run away with FVC crown

CRYSTAL LAKE – Crystal Lake South captured the team championship and Crystal Lake Central won the top two individual titles Saturday at the Fox Valley Conference Tournament.

The Gators placed in the top five at all seven positions and won four individual titles at No. 2 and 3 singles and doubles to win the team competition with 102 points. Jacobs was second with 96 followed by Prairie Ridge (90), Crystal Lake Central (87), Huntley (76) and Johnsburg (62).

South coach Don Nead said he was very happy with his teams play. In addition to the four titles, South had a second-, fourth- and fifth-place finish.

“To have four out of seven champions is remarkable,” Nead said. “The girls really played well. They all medaled.”

The championship was truly a team accomplishment, Nead said.

“It was all the way through [the lineup],” Nead said. “Everybody helped the team out.”

Julia Thome at No. 2 singles and Alaina Littlejohn (No. 3) won singles titles for the Gators and Rachel Rasmussen and Jacqueline Boorom at No. 2 doubles and Becca Kolarczyk and Caitlin Theros (No. 3) won doubles titles. Also, Kelsey Laktash and Rachel Siemon were second at No. 1 doubles, Marisa Thome was fourth at No. 1 singles and Kaitlyn Bookout and Hannah Goschey were fifth at No. 4 doubles.

The tournament win capped an undefeated dual season for the Gators (19-0) and an FVC Valley Division championship. In its FVC Valley duals this season, South lost just two individual matches and finished with 40 out of a possible 42 points.

Jenna Wallace won at No. 1 singles for the Tigers defeating Woodstock’s Ana Fedmasu, 6-3, 6-4, in the championship match. Wallace said she was surprised at how Fedmasu had stepped up her game since she faced her in a dual earlier in the season.

“It definitely freaked me out,” Wallace said. “[Fedmasu] didn’t play like that during the season. She definitely came to win it.”

Fedmasu attacked Wallace with a powerful forehand and tried to control points by getting to the net. Wallace looked to extend rallies to capitalize on her steady play.

“I tried to keep her in the point as long as I could,” Wallace said. “That’s what I’m strong at, keeping my consistency.”

The two could see each other again at the Cary-Grove Sectional beginning Friday, where both will likely be seeded.

Central coach Katie Lashbrook said she was glad to see Wallace get pushed by Fedmasu before to sectionals.

“You don’t want to go into the sectional tournament without having that competition,” Lashbrook said.

At No. 1 doubles, Evelyn Youel and Jillian Wallace extended their conference unbeaten streak with a, 6-1, 6-1, win against Crystal Lake South’s Laktash and Siemon in the title match. Youel and Wallace only lost five games in their three tournament matches.

Dominating play in the conference tournament was indicative of how the pair have been playing, Jillian Wallace said.

“The last few matches we’ve played we’ve stepped up our games,” Jillian Wallace said.

Playing the Gators in the championship match presented familiar opponents and ones the Tigers respected.

“You’re nervous going into it just because it’s South,” Youel said. “I think it’s shown how much we’ve grown.”

Also for the Tigers, Sarah Massett and Maddie Fox won at No. 4 doubles.

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