Neuqua Valley halts Naperville Central’s momentumFirst singles player Anusha Pai of Neuqua Valley scoops out a forehand return against Maria Mihailescu of Naperville Central. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 21, 2011 9:26PM
There’s nothing like a nice, friendly rivalry between two local nonconference opponents like the Neuqua Valley and Naperville Central girls tennis teams.
On Wednesday at Neuqua Valley, the two battled it out with the host Wildcats defeating the Redhawks 5-2, which broke their four-match winning streak.
“It’s always fun to play them, and everyone gets along well,” Neuqua Valley coach Trudy Bennorth said. “(Naperville Central coach Don Bonet) has great kids — he has the nicest kids — but it’s fun to win too. It’s always competitive, which makes it fun.”
“We knew this was going to be a tough one,” Bonet added. “We had a bad start, but we finished well.”
Neuqua Valley (9-5) won the first three matches completed and ended up sweeping all three singles matches. Anusha Pai, a freshman at No. 1 singles, defeated junior Maria Mihailescu, 7-6, 6-4.
Senior Erin Alenciks, at No. 2 singles, topped sophomore Sara Furukawa, 6-1, 6-0. At No. 3 singles, junior Kayla Benz beat senior Edeline Chen, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2.
“Our singles players, they are working hard,” Bennorth said. “There’s a few things we need to keep working on, but I’m very proud of them.”
The Wildcats also won at No. 3 and No. 4 doubles. Sophomore Leah Keating and junior Alicia Skwarek beat junior Lydia Fern and sophomore Priyesha Bijlani and junior Allie Pastene and sophomore Jen Chan topped senior Katie Roth and freshman Vivi Leon.
Naperville Central (10-5) had its two wins at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles. Sophomore Cindy Liu and freshman Cass Goldner defeated senior Ashley Cha and junior Christine Zhang, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. Senior Jennifer Lee and sophomore Meaghan Bedigian bested sophomore Rita Vohra and senior Megan Hannigan, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.
“We knew (our first doubles team) was going to be an important match,” Bonet said. “Our sectionals is going to be a minefield. Whoever wins this has the leg up in getting seeded. It was a good match all the way. Our second set played well too.”
This is not the first time Neuqua Valley and Naperville Central competed this season. At the Downers Grove South tournament, the two played, but the match did not finish due to rain. The two will see each other next at Naperville North’s tournament Oct. 1.