BLOOMINGTON – Defending sectional champion Centennial heads into postseason play with major momentum.
The Chargers finished third at Saturday's Big 12 Conference girls' tennis meet, producing three league champs in the process.
Mary Kate Krouse did not let a back injury get in the way of a title at No. 3 singles for the Chargers. Krouse did not lose a set in the tournament. The second-seeded player defeated first-seeded Melissa Carr of Bloomington in the championship match.
Shelby Mammano was equally impressive at No. 5 singles for Centennial. Mammano breezed to wins against foes from Decatur MacArthur and Danville to reach the final.
In the title match, first- seeded Mammano fell behind after a 4-6 first-set loss to second-seeded Molly Maubach of Normal Community. However, the senior rallied to win the next two sets 6-4, 7-6.
"Mary Kate Krouse battled through back pain and Shelby Mammano lost the first set of her title match, but they were both able to battle back for victories, which I thought was huge," Chargers coach Jill Harms said.
Megan Suchoff and Sophie Miller also won a conference championship in three sets for Centennial at No. 3 doubles.
A positive conference meet has Harms feeling good about her team's postseason chances.
"Our goal is to do well at sectionals. We want to defend our title. I think this weekend proves we can play with anyone in the area, even though there is some good competition around," she said.
Danville placed fourth. The Vikings were led by Lisa LeCleir's second-place finish at No. 1 singles.
Urbana was sixth and Champaign Central eighth.
Katarina Marjanovic earned a conference title at No. 1 singles for the Tigers. She won three matches, including a 6-0, 6-2 win against LeCleir in the championship match.