HIGHLAND | Valparaiso's Marissa Weston and Rachel Willing played together for the first time at Saturday's Highland Doubles Invitational.
The duo proved they were a formidable team despite a little learning curve. Weston and Willing defeated Highland's Sydney Hernandez and Ivett Eulloqui 6-2, 6-0 in the championship round of No. 3 doubles, helping the Vikings collect 15 points and win the team championship.
"Marissa and I just wanted to go out there and clear our minds and have fun," Willing said. "We worked together and talked to each other because communication is key in doubles."
Willing, who is mainly a singles player, learned to play with Weston as the day went along. The two combined their strengths well.
"It took a little bit of getting used to telling (Willing) where to play, and figuring out what my tendencies were and that sort of thing," Weston said. "We're very good friends off the court, so it wasn't too hard. We had a good dynamic together."
To Valparaiso coach Tim Shideler's knowledge, the Vikings have never won the invitational. It's an accomplishment the Vikings can build from going forward.
"I feel they worked really well together as a team and they cheered each other on," he said. "They were good with their partners. That's what it was all about today, trying to jell as a team. They did a nice job of that."
Brooke Sever and Caitlin Kennedy won the championship round of No. 2 doubles 6-0, 6-1. The duo, who is 7-2 this season, only gave up two games the whole day.
"We were definitely more aggressive (today)," Sever said. "Sometimes, we're too timid. It's just better for us to go for it. It always turns out better in the end."
Michigan City and Andrean both finished with 12 points, but the Wolves finished second due to a tiebreaker. They defeated the 59ers in the opening round of No. 1 doubles.
City's Megan Methner and Dayna Pedzinski won 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1.
Kankakee Valley's Rikki Young and Courtney Brzezinski, who are both singles players, captured the No. 4 doubles title 6-1, 6-2. They had to deal with windy conditions during their final match. K.V. finished fourth with 11 points.
"You have to learn to play with wind," Young said. "You can't play as close to the outside lines as you'd like to because you have to give a little room for the wind."