Whiting's Megan Jakovich has always held herself to a high standard. It's part of what makers her who she is, on and off the tennis court.
"I demand a lot out of myself," Jakovich said. "I'm a senior and a co-captain on this year's team. It's my time to step up."
Jakovich's attitude, and that of her teammates, has led the Oilers to two straight sectional titles and three of the last four. They are the only sectional crowns the girls tennis program has earned. The current Oilers lineup wants to make it three in a row this week when they defend their crown at the E.C. Central Sectional.
"It's an incredible feeling to win a sectional title," Jakovich said. "We've been very fortunate to experience that feeling the last two years. It makes us want it all the more this time around."
Jakovich played No. 2 singles for last year's team and earned a spot on the GSSC first-team all-conference squad. She finished with a 10-5 record on the way to a trip to the Highland regional. As a sophomore, Jakovich went 11-2 at No. 3 singles to earn her first Oilers sectional title.
This year she has moved up to No. 1 singles, where she enters sectional play with a 8-4 record.
Her cumulative 29-11 record has help her confidence level rise as the competition improves.
"There are a lot of tougher matches at No. 1 singles, because you always play the other team's best player," Jakovich said. "But I know my teammates have confidence in me, and that helps me a lot."
The Oilers (8-3) will face a pair of tough tests in their title defense. They edged out the Cardinals 3-2 during the regular season, and lost 5-0 to Noll during conference play. All three are in the upcoming sectional.
"It will be a very competitive week," Jakovich said. "All of us will be challenged. But we win as a team. It's not just about any one player, it's about us getting three points. I want to win, but I want Whiting to win more."
Jakovich knows she is expected to have a strong postseason if the Oilers are to do well.
"It always starts with the seniors," Jakovich said. "We are expected to lead by example and it starts with No. 1 singles. It's important to support the team and bring home a point. So I know there are high expectations on me. But most of them are on me from myself."
Jakovich is ready for the challenge.
"I started playing in middle school when my dad took a lot of time to teach me the game," she said. "I've worked heard each year to get better and move up. My senior year is my final chance to accomplish some of the things I want to do for my team. I'm excited and I'm ready."