HIGHLAND | When asked how it felt to win a second consecutive regional title, Highland coach Adam Baez summed it up succinctly.
"It proves that last year's win was not a fluke," he said. "It shows we were not a one-hit wonder."
Indeed they were not.
The Trojans (18-2) took the first three points to defeat Crown Point 3-2 in the regional finals and earn their second straight trip to the LaPorte semistate.
Vany Madrigal brought home the first point with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Kelsey Ingelhart at No. 1 singles.
"The team talked before the match about how much we had to focus on winning today and block out everything else," Madrigal said. "We didn't want to have a letdown after beating Munster yesterday."
Both Highland's doubles team won to make it 3-0 and secure the regional title. Liz Quinn and Aby madrigal won 6-2, 6-0 at No. 1 doubles, and Maredith Garcia and Nikki Goodeve won 6-3, 6-3 at No. 2 doubles.
The Bulldogs (12-9) made the score respectable with a pair of late wins. Amber Haworth won 6-7, 6-3, 6-3 at No. 2 singles, and Abby Kvachkoff won 6-2, 6-2 at No. 3 singles.
"We play a tough schedule and a tough conference, so we were ready for this match," Kvachkoff said. "We came in with the confidence that we could hang with them, and for the most part we did."
Bulldog coach Brian Elston was impressed with the way his team battled back all afternoon.
"All of our girls played tough and challenged every point," Elston said. "I like the way they hung in there, even when we were down. They are already talking about next year, and I take that as a good sign."
In the individual sectional, No. 1 singles Abbey Hamstra of Kankakee Valley defeated Bishop Noll's Stacey Krahn 6-0, 6-0 to win the sectional title and advance to the individual regional.
The loss ended Krahn's perfect season. She ended with a 16-1 record.
"I enjoyed the challenge and the level of competition," Krahn said. "Playing at a smaller school, I don't often get the chance to play someone like Abbey. It was a great experience."
Hamstra (20-1) won a total of three matches to advance. She also defeated E.C. Central's Ashley Pabey and Lowell's Natalie Johnson by 6-0, 6-0 scores.
Whiting's doubles team of Megan Kazmierski and Guadelupe Cornejo also advanced to the regional with a bye.