PORTAGE | Stellar singles play was all the Chesterton girls tennis team needed to win its second sectional title in three years.
The Times No. 3 Trojans swept the singles matches in straight sets and went on to defeat No. 4 Valparaiso 3-2 in the Portage Sectional final on Saturday morning.
“All three of them are excellent singles players,” Chesterton coach Gretchen Shinn said. “They push each other in practice, they work hard, and it doesn’t surprise me that it came down to them.”
Chesterton (17-2) will face state No. 8 South Bend St. Joseph’s at the LaPorte Regional on Monday. The Trojans beat the Indians 3-2 earlier this season.
Meg Modesto clinched the championship with her 6-1, 6-4 win over Caitlin Kennedy at No. 2 singles. Modesto trailed 3-0 in the second set before rallying to win six of the final seven games.
“I was making a lot of mistakes, so I told myself to just get the ball back," Modesto said. "Even if it looks bad just get it back, whatever you can do to keep the ball in play."
At No. 1 singles, Bobbi Modesto defeated Kelly Kennedy 6-1, 6-1.
Margaret Shinn, who played No. 1 doubles when the two teams met earlier this season, beat Rachel Willing 6-1, 6-4 at No. 3 singles. Shinn was behind 3-2 in the second set before winning four of the last five games.
“It’s really hard to beat a team twice,” coach Shinn said. “We beat them 3-2 in the regular season and it’s really hard to come out and keep the intensity, because they were really pumped too.”
The Vikings (14-4) won both doubles matches. At No. 1, the pair of Kate Spencer and Sonja Schaefer beat JJ Lee and Rachel McCrum 6-1, 6-3. Thanks to the win, Spencer and Schaefer will advance to the sectional round of the individual state tournament.
The No. 2 duo of Ava Meyer and Brooke Sever defeated Sunni Lee and Amanda Susnak 6-3, 6-2.
“Both doubles I thought played very aggressive,” Valparaiso coach Tim Shideler said. “They took the ball early, and did exactly what they needed to do. I was happy with both of them."