The Lady Crusader tennis squad defeated the Lady Chucks 8-1 on Thursday afternoon in matches played at Benzinger and Memorial parks in St. Marys. Despite the threat of rain, the teams were able to get in all their matches before the wet weather returned early in the evening.
"The weather cooperated and we were able to play a very competitive tennis match against a really nice Punxsy squad," said ECC head coach Pete Meier. "Punxsy has improved tremendously since last year. They have a wonderful group of young ladies, and it was a very enjoyable match to watch."
At #1 singles, Elk Catholic's Abby Meyer won 6-3, 6-1 over Punxsy's Anna Monyak, and Lady Crusader Loreal Housler defeated Shaina Reddinger 6-1, 6-3 at #2 singles.
"Abby Meyer and Loreal Housler each won their match in straight sets. Abby and Loreal are both playing very well right now, both girls are improving, and today they won against a very tough opponent," Meier said.
ECC's Laira Reuscher defeated Punxsy's Searra Wasicki 6-0, 6-1 at #3 singles, while Elk Catholic's Maria Gismondi downed Lauren Wolfe 6-0, 6-4 at #4 singles.
"Laira Reuscher and Maria Gismondi continue to play very good tennis at the #3 and #4 positions," Meier said. "Both matches had a lot of long rallies. There were many highly competitive points played, and these two young ladies each came up big for the win."
Elk's lone loss on the day came at #5 singles, where Sophie Herzing fell to Punxsy's Amber Ward 6-3, 6-7 (1-7), 8-10.
"The match of the day came at #5 singles, where Sophie Herzing lost a heartbreaker to Amber Ward," Meier said. "The second and third sets both ended in evenly matched, hotly contested tiebreakers. This was a wonderful match to watch between two very good, evenly matched players, as both of these girls battled right to the end. It's always fun to watch these kinds of matches."
In the doubles matches, Meyer and Housler teamed up to defeat Punxsy's Anna Monyak and Shaina Reddinger 8-4.
"Abby and Loreal teamed up to win another evenly played, highly competitive match at first doubles. These two play very well together and are a lot of fun to watch," Meier said.
At #2 doubles, ECC's Abby Wittman and Kristen Dippold picked up an 8-4 victory over Punxsutawney's Searra Wasicki and Lauren Wolfe.
"The #2 doubles match was another exciting, evenly played, back-and-forth match between two very good doubles teams," Meier said. "Abby Wittman and Kristen Dippold work very well together. Both girls are very good players, and their doubles win today was something special to watch."
Lady Crusaders Brittany Auman and Maddie O'Leary defeated Amber Ward and Calena Spearing 8-5 at #3 doubles, while Elk Catholic's Elizabeth Nicklas and Maura Keyes beat Lady Chucks Kylie Krise and Tori Brooks 8-2 at #4 singles.
"Elizabeth Nicklas and Maura Keyes teamed up for a win at #4 doubles, while Brittany Auman and Maddie O'Leary outlasted their opponents at #3 doubles. Both teams played really well together," Meier said.
A number of players also competed in exhibition on Thursday afternoon.
"We had a very successful exhibition 'match' today, where many of our new players got a chance to play and did very well," Meier said.
In exhibition #1, Elk Catholic's Linnea Stager and Kathryn Ordiway won 8-2 over Punxsutawney's Laura Chelgren and Karlee Wingard.
Lady Crusaders Maddie Foringer and Natalie Reichard defeated Lady Chucks Erin Long and Jaelene Burkett 6-2 in exhibition #2.
ECC's Marla Scacchitti and Rachel Stauffer picked up a 6-0 win over Punxsy's Shauna Wood and Sydney Jekielek in exhibition #3.
Both Elk Catholic squads were handed 2-6 setbacks in the #4 and #5 exhibitions, with Anna Wingard and Rebecca Gleixner falling to Punxsy's Kylie Krise and Tori Brooks, while Quirin Riddle and Rachel Rupprecht came up short against Erin Long and Jaelene Burkett.
In the #6 exhibition, Lady Crusaders Danielle Healy and Megan McKenna picked up a 6-3 victory over Punxsutawney's Shauna Wood and Sydney Jekielek.
"It was another good day for tennis," Meier said. "We played against a really nice opponent, there was a lot of good tennis played, and the sunshine felt good. This was our sixth match of the season, we've done very well so far, and I'm really proud of our girls."
The Lady Crusaders will return to action on Monday when they take on Warren Area High School in a match scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at Benzinger Park.