August 22, 2014

Elyria
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High school tennis: Avon picks up four individual titles on way to fourth straight LCAAA team championship

Avon Lake High School's Maya Wanner serves to Elyria Catholic High School in a first-doubles match for third place Saturday. Elyria Catholic took third place and Avon Lake took fourth. KRISTIN BAUER | CHRONICLE

Avon Lake High School’s Maya Wanner serves to Elyria Catholic High School in a first-doubles match for third place Saturday. Elyria Catholic took third place and Avon Lake took fourth. KRISTIN BAUER | CHRONICLE

AVON LAKE — Avon decided to keep getting while the getting is good Saturday at the Lorain County Athletic Administrators Association tournament.

The Eagles used last year’s formula to breeze to their fourth straight LCAAA title, winning four championships and posting a runner-up finish in the other match to earn 39 of a possible 40 points in the 25th edition of the tournament, which was held at Avon Lake High School and Bleser Park.

“We lose five seniors from the team this year, so it will be difficult for us to come back and do this again,” Avon coach Caroline Hughes said.

“The girls are all good together and they all support each other. Every one of them worked very hard to earn this.”
After winning both doubles matches and two singles matches, the only thing standing between Avon and a clean sweep was defending singles champion Erin Hrivnak of Avon Lake.

Facing Avon’s Madisyn Rini for the second straight year, Hrivnak won the first set 6-3, but trailed 5-4 in the second when Rini’s left leg started cramping. The pain caused her to call for an injury timeout and she received treatment on the court for several minutes before play resumed.

Rini was asked if she wanted to default, but she was determined to continue the match. But after the timeout, it was obvious she was not playing at 100 percent.

Hrivnak took advantage of the opportunity, sealing the match with a 7-5 win.

Elyria Catholic High School's Lauren Opalenic returns a ball back toward Avon Lake.

Elyria Catholic High School’s Lauren Opalenic returns a ball back toward Avon Lake.

“I got off to a slow start, but (Madisyn) Rini really worked on her game this year and I had to work a lot harder to win this time,” Hrivnak said. “It was a really close match and it was a great final. We know each other well and I’m glad that I got to play someone as talented as her. It really means a lot to come back and do this in my senior year.”

Even though Rini was disappointed in the loss, she took the results in stride.

“It was really tough to start cramping up while I was winning,” Rini said. “It was hard to lose, but I knew I wanted to stay out there and do everything I could. It’s tough to play someone you know, but you just can’t be friends on the court. You go out there and play and then be friends off the court.”

Even though Rini lost, the Eagles already had the team title locked up.

Avon co-captain Halle Mentler won her fourth title in four years, beating Avon Lake’s Alexis Krieg 6-2, 6-0. At third singles, Madison Nakon beat Elyria’s Kari Wonder 6-0, 6-0 to pick up eight team points for her team.

“We’ve almost become used to winning this tournament,” said Nakon, who was a first doubles champion last year. “We really wanted to come out and win this for a fourth time in a row.”

Avon’s Annie DeLuca and Riley Monroe defeated Amherst’s Mary Szucs and Elizabeth Sturges 6-2, 6-3 in first doubles, while Laura Schmitz and Lindsay Roberts picked up a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Avon Lake’s Amanda Hoffman and Lauren Sabo.

Despite finishing as runner-up for the fourth straight year, Avon Lake coach Christine Dieken was encouraged about her team’s play.

“I’m not disappointed because Avon is our rival and we’re lucky to have that good competition,” Dieken said. “We don’t get better beating teams that we are better than, we get better from playing teams that are better than us.

“Even in a loss, you can learn on the court and you learn to get better playing against high-quality players.”
Amherst finished third for the second year in a row.

Besides the second doubles team’s runner-up finish, all three singles players placed as Natalie Keron beat Elyria Catholic’s Julie Carroccio 6-0, 6-2 for third at first singles and Reaghn Franta took third at second singles with a 6-4, 6-1 win over North Ridgeville’s Taylor Wishner. Elizabeth McDermott grabbed a fourth-place finish at third singles.

“We only brought our singles last year, the doubles were at Perkins, so it was nice to bring the whole team over here and have a good showing,” Comets coach Rich Robbins said.

Contact James Brady at 329-7135 or jbrady_ct@yahoo.com.

TEAM STANDINGS: 1. Avon 39, 2. Avon Lake 33, 3. Amherst 27, 4. Elyria Catholic 21, 5. (tie) Elyria 17, Midview 17, 7. North Ridgeville 16, 8. Vermilion 10, 9. Lake Ridge Academy 0.

FIRST SINGLES: Championship — Erin Hrivnak (Avon Lake) def. Madisyn Rini (Avon), 6-3, 7-5. Third place — Natalie Keron (Amherst) def. Julie Carroccio (Elyria Catholic), 6-0, 6-2. Semifinals — Hrivnak def. Carroccio, 6-0, 6-0; Rini def. Keron, 6-1, 6-1. First round — Hrivnak def. Rachel Pickering (Midview),
6-1, 6-0; Carroccio def. Monique Mihalski (North Ridgeville), 6-2, 6-3; Keron def. Kristen Anglin (Vermilione), 6-1, 6-0; Rini def. Amelia Williams (Elyria),6-0, 6-0.

SECOND SINGLES: Championship — Halle Menter (Avon) def. Alexis Krieg (Avon Lake), 6-2, 6-0. Third place — Reaghn Franta (Amherst) def. Taylor Wishner (North Ridgeville), 6-4, 6-1. Semifinals — Menter def. Wishner, 6-0, 6-0; Krieg def. Franta, 6-3, 6-4. First round — Menter def. Natalie Wilson (Vermilion), 6-0, 6-0; Wishner def. Rachel Kozma (Elyria Catholic), 6-1, 6-1; Franta def. Courtney Green (Elyria), 4-6, 6-0, 6-1; Krieg def. Stefanie Gipson (Midview), 6-0, 6-1.

THIRD SINGLES: Championship — Madison Nakon (Avon) def. Kari Wonder (Elyria), 6-0, 6-0. Third place — Rachel Johnson (Avon Lake) def. Elizabeth McDermott (Amherst), 6-2, 6-1. Semifinals — Nakon def. McDermott, 6-1, 6-1; Wonder def. Johnson, 6-2, 6-4. First round — Nakon def. Taylor Bartone (Midview), 6-0, 6-0; McDermott def. Melanie McHenry (Vermilion), 6-0, 6-1; Wonder def. Bridget Buchs (Elyria Catholic), 6-0, 6-1; Johnson def. Mia Slone (North Ridgeville).

FIRST DOUBLES: Championship — Annie DeLuca-Riley Monroe (Avon) def. Mary Szucs–Elizabeth Sturges (Amherst), 6-2, 6-3; Third place — Rachel Stevens-Lauren Opalenik (Elyria Catholic) def. Kylee Loebick-Maya Wanner (Avon Lake), 6-1, 7-5. Semifinals — DeLuca-Monroe def. Stevens-Opalenik, 6-0, 6-0; Szucs-Sturges def. Loebick-Wanner, 6-2, 6-2. First round — DeLuca-Monroe def. Taylor Peyton-Naomi Diedrick (Elyria), 6-0, 6-0; Stevens-Opalenik def. Julie Mello–Savannah Ragnoni (Vermilion), 6-1, 6-2; Loebick-Wanner def. Hannah Sedlak–Cassidy Hogue, 6-0, 6-3; Szucs-Sturges def. Tabby McCloskey-Micheala Ferrara (North Ridgeville), 6-0, 6-0.

SECOND DOUBLES: Championship — Laura Schmitz–Lindsay Roberts (Avon) def. Amanda Hoffman–Lauren Sabo (Avon Lake), 6-0, 6-2. Third place—Lauren Morgan-Callie Lopez (Elyria Catholic) def. Megan O’Neal–Kait Heck (North Ridgeville), 6-0, 6-2. Semifinals —Schmitz-Roberts def. O’Neal-Heck, 6-0, 6-1; Hoffman-Sabo def. Morgan-Lopez, 6-4, 6-2. First round—Schmitz-Roberts def. Payal Patel–Taylor Kenyan (Midview), 6-1, 6-0; O’Neal-Heck def. Maisy Breese-Sarah Mortier (Elyria), 6-1, 6-0; Morgan-Lopez def. Fiona Gibbons-Desiree Reutter (Vermilion), 7-6 (5), 6-2; Hoffman-Sabo def. Jordan Lander – Alex Weaver (Amherst), 6-2, 6-0.

  • Thomas Daniels

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