Girls Tennis: Oswego East wins SPC tourney title

Updated: October 6, 2012 6:08PM

Stay calm and play tennis.

It was not only a rallying cry for Oswego East this year, but for Sarjela Harlow during the No. 1 singles championship match against Oswego’s Courtney Gooch Saturday in Romeoville.

Gooch won three straight games in the second set, before Harlow posted a 6-1, 7-5 victory. After losing in the title match the last two seasons, the junior won her first SPC championship.

“It feels really good,” Harlow said. “It’s a nice new title to have, so I’m pretty happy.”

It was one of three head-to-head wins against Oswego in championship matches as the Wolves outlasted the Panthers 29-25. In all, Oswego East won four championships to win the eight-team league title for the second year in a row.

“This one was much tougher than last year,” Oswego East coach Pete Conrad said. “Heading into this year, we lost four players who played varsity for four years. One of the things we focused on was being team-oriented.”

Others winning championship medals were freshman Jaiere Harlow, Sarjela’s younger sister, at No. 2 singles; the No. 1 doubles teams of sophomores Leena Hwang and Alexis Blackmon; and the No. 3 doubles team of senior Samantha Awad and freshman Haley Clebanoff.

“We have five girls in our program who hit real well and they help the other girls play at a higher level,” Conrad said. “That helps.”

“That’s two years in a row and that’s what we wanted,” Harlow said. “We wanted to defend our title.”

Harlow defended off Gooch after losing three straight games in the second set.

“She played really well so I was glad I had the chance to rally,” Harlow said of Gooch. “It was a good fight. I just tried to keep calm, not get to upset, tried to pump myself up and keep my poise.”

Oswego East avenged a 4-3 loss to Oswego during the dual portion of the schedule.

Oswego senior Ashley Blocker and sophomore Leanne Schilling won the title at No. 1 doubles. Cali Bonie at No. 3 singles was the only other champion for the Panthers.

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