Plainfield Central’s Ali Foster a sectional championAli Foster Plainfield Central came in 1st in the singles at the Plainfield East IHSA girls tennis sectional on Saturday, October 15, 2011. | Larry Kane~For Sun-Times Media
Having qualified for state by reaching the semifinals of Saturday’s Plainfield East Sectional, Plainfield Central’s Ali Foster played calm, cool and collected in her two matches.
“I think it’s easier to play (knowing you’ve qualified),” Foster said. “It’s not as much pressure, and I usually don’t play as well when I’m under pressure.”
Foster cruised through her two matches, including a 6-4, 6-0 win in the championship over Joliet Township’s Caitlin Shea.
Lockport (20 points) won the sectional title for a second straight year, holding off Providence (17 points).
Kelly and Maggie Ruane won the doubles title for Providence, beating Lockport’s Kelsey Forkin and Katarina Samardzija 7-6, 1-6, 6-1.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to this week’s state tournament.
Foster, a four-time state qualifier, believes there is room for improvement.
“I could have done better with not as many double faults, but I was pretty calm out there today,” Foster said.
Lockport’s title was a team effort, according to coach Bob Champlin.
“It was a good tournament, and all our players did their job,” Champlin said. “We needed wins from every spot. It’s a team thing, and we knew that is how we’d do well.”
The Ruane twins outlasted Forkin and Samardzija for the doubles title, pulling away in the third set to eek out the win.
“This is a pretty big win for us,” Maggie said. “It’s our first year playing doubles and our first sectional title so it was a lot of fun.”
Bolingbrook’s Nneka Onyejaka posted a 6-3, 6-1 win over Lockport’s Abigail Plecki in the third-place match. Providence’s Jamie Noonan and Julia Patzin, won 6-0, 6-2 over Plainfield North’s Kyndal Currie and Abby Jomant for third place in doubles.
Rounding out the team finishers were Plainfield Central (third, 14 points), Plainfield North (fourth, 12), Joliet Township co-op (fifth, 10), Plainfield East (sixth, 8), Bolingbrook (seventh, 7) and Joliet Catholic, Plainfield South and Romeoville (three-way tie for eighth with six points).