ST. CHARLES – Geneva girls tennis coach Maureen Weiler said she wants her girls to be playing their best at this time of the year. And that’s exactly what she’s getting.
Geneva continued its excellent stretch in conference play Tuesday, remaining undefeated with a 6-1 win at St. Charles North.
The Vikings started the day in dominant fashion, with the top two singles players, Kirby Einck and Grace Krueger, both winning, 6-0, 6-0. And when the fourth doubles team of Brianna Meister and Kaleigh Barnaba grabbed a 6-2, 6-2 win in its match, Geneva needed just one more win to take the meet.
But things tightened up as the afternoon turned to evening, with a trio of doubles matches heading into twilight. Eventually, though, the Vikings won all three remaining doubles contests. The third doubles team of Liz Fallon and Maddie Cordaq won 6-4, 7-5. The second doubles team of Nicole Leskun and Shannon Foster won 7-6 (9-7), 7-5. And, in the darkness for yet another time this season, the No. 1 doubles team of Margo Hess and Emma Hazel won in three sets and a tiebreaker 1-6, 6-1, 7-6 (10-8).
“We started off a little bit rough in the first set, but we really pulled it together in the second set and we really just talked about what we need to do. And we really came through, we won, 6-1, which was awesome,” Hazel said. “Then the other girls definitely got a little more competitive in the third one, so it was much closer. But I think we held up under the pressure and we figured it out, and we came back and won the tiebreaker. So it felt really good.
“Actually, we’ve had a lot of these matches where we went to three sets sand tiebreakers, so we’re almost kind of used to it. But this was definitely a pretty stressful one.”
The lone winner for North was No. 3 singles player Micaela Mascha, who scored a 6-1, 6-2 victory. Mascha said it’s another step forward for her in a season that’s gone much better than the last.
“I’ve kind of had a good season this season,” Mascha said, “way better than last year. So that’s definitely better. I’ve just been having a lot more fun, getting to know the girls and playing a lot better, too.”
The win keeps the Vikings’ conference record unblemished at 5-0 – they’re 15-4 overall – heading into today’s unfinished meet with St. Charles East, where the Vikings and Saints will need to finish up two matches from a dual meet that was suspended last week with East ahead, 3-2. The meeting with the Saints comes just a few days before the conference tournament this weekend, where Geneva has its sights set on a championship. And the way the Vikings are playing, it’s definitely a possibility.
“That’s how it should be. End of the season, you hope the girls are playing their best and being competitive all the way around,” Weiler said. “This is just good tennis. You look for the girls to be competitive, especially toward the end of the season.
“It’s going to be the usual battle coming down to it. It’s nice when it’s this close because everybody’s going to have to – the whole team is going to have to play good in order for whatever team it is that wins conference.”