URBANA — How close was the battle between Danville and Centennial for the Champaign Central Sectional team title?
Tournament officials needed to go to the fifth tiebreaker in the IHSA manual Saturday to determine a champion.
“To me, that’s unheard of,” coach Mark Bacys said after his Vikings were declared the winner at Atkins Tennis Center. “I haven’t seen it or been a part of it (before), and that was after 12 years (coaching) with boys and (now) my second year with girls.”
With Danville and the Chargers each finishing with 31 points, the title came down to this: each team’s winning percentage in games, excluding matches against teammates.
Bacys says he would have gladly shared the crown.
“I don’t see why you can’t tie for a sectional title,” said Bacys, whose Vikings won their second straight sectional championship. “You don’t get an advantage like in the old days, when the sectional champion got to take its entire team to state, even if a girl hadn’t qualified (individually). Why can’t you just tie?”
Centennial didn’t come away empty-handed. Second-seeded Allison Hansen defeated third-seeded Lauren Neitzel 6-3, 6-0 in an all-Charger singles final.
The Danville duo of Rachael Lewis and Rebecca Lewis won the doubles crown 6-2, 7-6 against fellow Vikings Neha Patel and Amy Shah.
With two rounds left to play on Saturday in singles and doubles, Bacys said he could foresee the strong possibility of a tie, so he let his players know how important each game could be in determining the team champion.
“I wanted them to focus on each individual game instead of looking at the big picture,” he said. “It came out to be a great lesson to play every point, every game, like it matters, because it did today. I was really pleased with how the girls handled it.”