DuBOIS — The St. Marys girls tennis team defeated Elk County Catholic for the second year in a row in the District 9 Class AA Team Tournament finals with a 3-2 win on Monday afternoon at DuBois High School.
“We couldn’t ask for anything more. That was amazing,” said St. Marys coach David Lion after his team was awarded the District 9 championship plaque. “The girls did what they needed to do today.”
St. Marys got to the district final by defeating Brockway, 4-1, in the semifinals last week. Elk County Catholic beat Johnsonburg, 5-0, in the semis.
The season was also a successful one on the individual side, as well, for the Lady Dutchmen. St. Marys No. 1 player Sarah Casey won her third consecutive Class AA singles title two weeks ago and will play in the PIAA Championships at the Hershey Racquet Club on Nov. 4.
Casey continued that dominance on Monday with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over the Lady Crusaders’ Maria Hoh, who won the D-9 AA Doubles championship with teammate Emma Coppolo last week.
The No. 2 singles match had an unfortunate finish between Coppolo and St. Marys’ Jessica Jordan. Coppolo eked out a first-set win in a tiebreaker over Jordan, but Jordan rallied back to take a 4-0 lead in the second set.
Coppolo retired after the fourth game of the second set, which gave St. Marys another win.
“It’s unfortunate how second singles played out,” said Lion. “We wish Emma well. But we’re very thankful to get the opportunity to move on. I’m very happy our season didn’t come to an end yet.”
Both doubles matches were close in the first set, with Elk County Catholic needing to sweep the rest of the matches.
The Lady Crusaders’ Jenna Minard and Isabeau Stager pulled out a 7-5 victory in the first set against St. Marys’ Isabella Ehrensberger and Lydia Weist. Minard and Stager then cruised to a 6-2 win in the second set, which kept ECC alive in the match.
Just a couple minutes after Minard and Stager won the No. 2 doubles match, St. Marys’ Taylor Klaiber and Kayla Mitchell sealed the win for the Lady Dutch.
After defeating Elk County Catholic’s Emily Evers and Allie Gier in a tiebreaker in the first set, Klaiber and Mitchell also eked out another close win with a 7-5 victory in the second set.
There was another close match at No. 3 singles between ECC’s Emily Miller and St. Marys’ Leah Gabler to set the final.
Both sides earned a 6-2 victory in the first two sets, with Gabler taking the first and Miller getting the second set.
Gabler opened the third set with a 4-2 lead, but Miller battled back to make it 5-5. After multiple points going to deuce in the final two games, Miller earned a service win and a break to take a 7-5 win to set the final.
“We’re very happy to get an opportunity to go back (to the state tournament),” said Lion. “I’m very proud of them. They put in the work. They put in the effort. I’m happy it paid off.”
St. Marys will play the District 7 runner-up on Oct. 25 at a site and time to be determined.