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East girls tennis nabs UEC River title after battle with Bulldogs

Geneva freshmen Grace Krueger won the Upstate Eight Conference River Division tournament title at No. 2 singles Saturday. St. Charles East won the team title, supplanting Batavia.
Geneva freshmen Grace Krueger won the Upstate Eight Conference River Division tournament title at No. 2 singles Saturday. St. Charles East won the team title, supplanting Batavia.

GENEVA – Saturday was a great day for the Geneva and Batavia girls tennis teams in the Upstate Eight Conference River Division championships, but not quite good enough to overcome the points lead St. Charles East had coming into the tournament.

The Saints used their unbeaten regular season duals record to finish with 67 points, two more than the Bulldogs and three more than the Vikings. St. Charles North finished a distant fourth with 45 points.

The Saints picked up their only tournament championship at No. 2 doubles, with Alexa and Carly Huskisson teaming up to beat Batavia’s Brook Lefevre and Sydnee Unterberg.

Geneva swept to victories in all three singles finals Saturday. At No. 1 singles, Kirby Einck cruised past Dahlia Keonavongsa of Elgin, 6-1, 6-0.

“I felt like I played my game and I was dominant,” Einck said. “I picked my spots and I hit them right. I just knew when to hit what and I was playing smart. I think it was a really good weekend.”
Einck, a junior, is hoping to continue her strong play at next weekend’s St. Charles East Sectional.

“I think it’s been a great season,” she said. “It’s been my best by far. I’ve only lost twice. I feel good going into sectionals.”

Einck defeated Nora McClure of Batavia, 6-0, 6-0 to reach the finals. McClure bounced back to claim third place by defeating Steph Sakyi of Streamwood, 6-0, 6-0, and Sarah Church of East, 6-2, 6-1.

“I was really happy about it,” McClure said. “I knew this tournament was going to be really hard, so I’m pleased with how I did. … Today I was just trying to be really consistent and just get every ball back that I could.”

At No. 2 singles, Geneva freshman Grace Krueger won the title with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over East’s Jaci Spoerl.

“I thought I played pretty well,” Krueger said. “I tried to work on my game. … I was trying to work on my serve and getting more power and just trying to move my opponent around.”

Elizabeth Prendergast completed the singles sweep for the Vikings with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over North’s Micaela Mascha in the No. 3 singles final.

Batavia took two of the three titles in doubles. Jenny Mizikar and Amelia Cogan teamed up to claim the No. 1 doubles championship with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over East’s Haydyn Jones and Kelsie Roberton.

“I believe that we played very well together,” Cogan said. “We communicated really well. We were just on this weekend. We played a great tournament.”

Mizikar said she believes the win will give the duo confidence heading into the sectional tournament.

“It definitely helped that we beat them because they’re in our sectional,” she said. “I feel we have a really good chance of doing really well in sectionals. Hopefully we get a good draw and can go pretty far and hopefully win it.”

Mizikar is a senior and Cogan a junior, but the Bulldogs will be losing both players at the end of the school year, since Cogan is moving to Boise, Idaho, as her father moves for his job.

Batavia also captured the title at No. 3 doubles with Holley Smorczewski and Julianne Robinson combining to down East’s Jamie Youngberg and Emmy Russell.

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