SKOKIE — Glenbrook North sophomores C.C. Chatas and Hailey Koretz played one of the last matches to finish at the Central Suburban North girls tennis tournament at Niles North.
Shortly after they earned a 6-4, 6-3 victory Saturday over Highland Park seniors Casey Frommer and Lizzie Raab to capture a league title at No. 1 doubles, Chatas and Koretz learned their team had won the conference championship.
“That makes our win that much better,” Chatas said.
After losing in straight sets to the Highland Park pair in the regular season, Chatas and Koretz switched up their strategy Saturday. They said they wanted to be more assertive at the net.
“Especially in the second set,” Chatas said. “We knew we had to beat them to the net and win more points there.”
The Spartans came into the league meet in first place with 31 points. They added 19 more after winning three of the four flights in doubles and two of the three in singles. Glenbrook North’s 50 points beat out Highland Park, which ended up with 43.
Sophomore Danielle Sokol finished first at No. 2 singles, and freshman Catherine O’Regan won No. 3 singles.
“I never said we have to win any matches,” Glenbrook North coach Peggy Holecek said. “I wanted them to be positive and stay focused and play their best. If that translated into wins, then great. All I was looking for was for them to play their best tennis.”
As Chatas and Koretz try to qualify for their first state tournament this weekend at the Glenbrook North Sectional, both said the conference championship will go a long way toward that goal.
“That was our best tennis [of the season], and it’s a big win to have under our belt,” Koretz said.
Former Niles North coach Pat Grant, a member of the Illinois High School Tennis Coaches Association Hall of Fame, told current coach John Amaro late Saturday that he couldn’t remember the last time the Vikings finished in the top three in the CSL North.
Led by freshman Michelle Bacalla’s championship at No. 1 singles, the Vikings earned 10 points at the league meet to total 29 for the season. They edged Deerfield for third in the final standings by two points. Sophomore Sabrina Palaura was second at No. 2 singles, and junior Sara Grosse took third at No. 3 singles.
“It’s been great to help out the team this year,” said Bacalla, who was seen cheering on her teammates after her victory. “I’m loving my new family.”
One of the top players in the area, Bacalla could be the first Viking to qualify for the state tournament since Anastasjia Dabiza in 2008. Niles North plays at this weekend’s New Trier Sectional.
Senior Jessica Ilc and freshman Sarah Choi produced the best finish for the Blue Demons by finishing fourth at No. 1 doubles. Maine East placed fifth as a team with 10 points.
The Blue Demons compete at this weekend’s Glenbrook North Sectional.