ROCKY RIVER — She’ll have at least one more weekend to not be nervous.
Becky Mittler of Elyria Catholic will head to the Division II Canton district Thursday as a district runner-up after winning two of her three singles matches Saturday at Tri-City Park.
“I thought I would be nervous, but I wasn’t,” Mittler said after easily getting past Rocky River’s Jessica Madigan, 6-0,
6-0, in Saturday’s quarterfinal round.
Mittler admitted winning easily in her opening match on a hot, steamy day had much to do with calming her nerves.
“Yes, that, and it’s just different,” she said. “It’s my first time in the districts. I was kind of nervous (Friday) and very nervous on Thursday (first- and second-round matches).”
Mittler’s semifinal victory was anything but the breeze her quarterfinal match was as she survived a grueling three-set battle with Kelsey Poisson of Bay.
Poisson won the first set 6-2, but Mittler dominated the second set 6-1. Poisson opened a 2-1 lead in the third before Mittler took the next three games to go ahead 4-2. The two traded games until it became 5-4.
The deciding game was easily the most thrilling exchange of the tournament. Poisson grabbed a 30-0 lead before Mittler rallied to win the next three points. Poisson avoided elimination and the two settled into a nailbiter that went to five deuces before Poisson’s return went wide to give Mittler the 6-4 win.
“I’ve done it before,” Mittler said of her comeback. “I needed to cut down on my mistakes. Kelsey’s a tough player.”
Mittler and Poisson met in a regular-season match with the same outcome — Mittler in three sets.
Mittler, the No. 2 seed, lost the championship match to top-seeded Molly Drake of Beaumont, 6-0, 6-2. Drake also beat Elyria Catholic’s Cara Dlugosz, 6-0, 6-1, in their quarterfinal match.
Poisson, as a semifinalist, will also go to the district tournament. Poisson got there by beating Molly Kenney of Rocky River, 6-4, 6-2, in the quarterfinal.
Elyria Catholic’s doubles team of Emily Mueller and Morgan Baker, who qualified for Canton on Thursday, fell in the sectional championship to Hathaway Brown’s No. 1 seeded sister duo of Cameron and Morgan Dorsey, 6-1, 6-0.
“They’re very tough,” said Baker of the Dorsey’s, who play singles during the regular season. “Cameron’s serving is amazing.”
“They’re ground strokes are amazing, too,” Mueller added. “They’re sisters and they have a special bond.”
District tournament play begins at 9 a.m. on Thursday at Weis Park in North Canton.
QUARTERFINALS: Molly Drake (Beaumont) def. Cara Dlugosz (Elyria Catholic), 6-0, 6-1; Becky Mittler (Elyria Catholic) def. Jessica Madigan (Rocky River), 6-0, 6-0; Kelsey Poisson (Bay) def. Molly Kenney (Rocky River, 6-4, 6-2; Celia Waggoner (Rocky River) def. Kelsey Kilbane (Fairview), 6-0, 6-2.
SEMIFINALS: Molly Drake (Beaumont) def. Celia Waggoner (Rocky River), 6-0, 6-3; Becky Mittler (Elyria Catholic) def. Kelsey Poisson (Bay), 2-6, 6-1, 6-4
CHAMPIONSHIP: Molly Drake (Beaumont) def. Becky Mittler (Elyria Catholic), 6-0, 6-2.
CHAMPIONSHIP: Cameron Dorsey and Morgan Dorsey (Hathaway Brown) def. Emily Mueller and Morgan Baker (Elyria Catholic), 6-1, 6-0.
Chiricosta wins D-I
OBERLIN — Nikki Chiricosta of Avon Lake saw her run of no game or set losses come to end but still managed to win the Division I singles championship at Oberlin College on Saturday.
Chiricosta, the No. 1 seed, defeated third-seeded Madison Hromada of Magnificat 6-0, 7-5 in a semifinal match.
In the championship match, Chiricosta defeated second-seeded Stephanie Hollis of the Blue Streaks 10-8 in a first-set tiebreaker. Hollis evened the match with a 6-3 win in the second set before Chiricosta shut out Hollis in the third set.
Hollis advanced to the final with a 6-2, 6-0 win over fourth-seeded Megan Mendoza of Amherst in their semifinal.
Hromada defeated Mendoza 6-0, 6-3 to grab the third seed for next week’s district tournament, also to be held at Oberlin College.
Cassie Simmelink and Jenna Goedde of Avon Lake, the second-seeded doubles team, lost a semifinal match to third-seeded Noel Kaufmann and Ali Wasilko of Magnifcat. Westlake’s Stephanie McAllister and Karen Nedorost suffered a similar fate to top-seeded Megan Hollis and Mia Zuber of the Blue Streaks in their semifinal.
Hollis and Zuber prevailed in the championship match, while Simmelink and Goedde won the third-place match.
All four singles players and all four doubles teams advance to the district tournament.
Nikki Chiricosta (Avon Lake, #1) def. Madison Hromada (Magnificat, #3) 6-0, 7-5; Stephanie Hollis (Magnificat, #2) def. Megan Mendoza (Amherst, #4) 6-2, 6-0.
Chiricosta def. Hollis 7-6 (10-8), 3-6, 6-0; Third-place match: Hromada def. Mendoza 6-0, 6-3.
Megan Hollis-Mia Zuber (Magnificat, #1) def. Stephanie McAllister-Karen Nedorost (Westlake) 6-0, 6-1; Noel Kaufmann-Ali Wasilko (Magnificat, #3) def. Cassie Simmelink-Jenna Goedde (Avon Lake, #2) 6-1, 6-3.
Hollis-Zuber def. Kaufmann-Wasilko 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-5); Third-place match: Simmelink-Goedde def. McAllister-Nedorost 6-3, 6-1.