By Mike Williamson- email@example.com
The Chelsea girls’ tennis team made it three straight years with bringing home the Sturgis Invitational title Saturday.
Chelsea finished with four flight champions and two runners-up to earn the title.
The Bulldogs beat out Sturgis, Edwardsburg, and Lakeview to take the title.
All three teams are expected to qualify for the state finals so it was a fine showing for the Bulldogs.
Chelsea dominated the doubles by winning 11 of 12 matches. They also won six of seven tie-breakers the lone loss being a 10-8 third set tie-breaker. It was the difference in the match.
“As coaches, we’ve been really stressing the mental aspect of the game, and the girls proved they are strong players by winning 6 out of 7 tiebreakers,” Coach Matt Pedlow said.
Winning their flights were Carli Martin at four singles, Kendall Tucker/Morgan Moore at one doubles, Madisen Chinavare/Madelynn O’Hara at three doubles, and Corrine Dale/Gretchen Kuras at four doubles.
Flight runners-up were Emma Catalina at three singles and Maddie Pedlow/Julia Schachinger at two doubles.
“Both Martin and Catalina won 2 out of 3 matches for us, and both figured out a strategy against very different opponents,” Pedlow said “Catalina has a tendency to beat girls who are technically better than her, but Emma is a very smart player and probably the most competitive player we have. She is determined to win and makes adjustments throughout her matches to ensure her success.”
Pedlow also added “At one doubles, Tucker and Moore played the best tennis that I’ve seen them play in the past 3 years. Their game was on, Kendall was serving great, and Morgan was fierce at the net. They just played like we’ve been telling them they have the capability of playing, it was great to see them find out how good they can be.”
The girls continued their strong play by defeating Bedford 6-2 earlier in the week.
The Bulldogs took three of four singles matches with Kyra Van Batavia winning 6-2, 6-1 and two singles, Emma Catalina 6-2, 6-1 at three singles, and Sierra Martinez-Kratz winning 6-0,6-1 at four singles.
The doubles teams also won three of four.
Julia Schachinger and Maddie Pedlow teamed to win a hard-fought three-set match at two doubles 6-1, 1-6, 6-1. Madelynn O’Hara and Madisen Chinavare won 6-0, 6-2 at three doubles and Remy Sturt and Gretchen Kuras won 6-3, 6-3 at four doubles.
The Bulldogs dropped a 6-2 decision to a strong Saline squad Thursday.
Picking up wins for Chelsea were O’Hara and Schachinger 6-3, 6-1 at the three doubles for the Bulldogs.
The match of the day was at four doubles, where Chelsea’s Kuras and Chinavare pulled out an exciting three-set match 7-6(4), 3-6, 10-8 over Lindsey Barba and Brooke Engelhardt of Saline.
Picture provided by Coach Matt Pedlow