By David Paulsen
When the season began, they had hoped to simply finish somewhere in the middle of the pack in the Southern Lakes Conference.
The Burlington High School girls’ tennis team managed to be better than that.
After finishing the dual portion of the season with a 3-4 record in the SLC, the Demons put it all together at the SLC Tournament last week, placing second in the tourney. As a result, the team ended up third overall in the SLC.
The team earned six points for its three dual wins and 12 points for its second-place finish in the tournament, for a total of 18 points. Union Grove won the SLC with 26 points, with Waterford second with 22. Delavan-Darien matched Burlington’s point total with 18.
“It was a great tournament. It was great fun,” noted head coach Rose Dolatowski. “It was a great finish to the conference season.”
The key to the Demons success in the tournament was the fact that the girls on a number of occasions defeated opponents they had lost to earlier in the season.
As expected, Stephanie Londre was the conference champion at No. 1 singles. Londre was never threatened in her three matches, losing a total of only four games. Londre is now 24-0 on the season.
Carolyn Smith, at No. 3 singles, and Sophie Grandi at No. 4, both placed second, losing in the championship matches.
After winning her first two matches, 6-4, 6-3; and 6-0, 6-3; Smith took Delavan’s Kylie Bliss to three sets before losing 3-6, 7-6 (3), 0-6. The two had played a three-set match earlier in the season, as well.
Grandi won her opening match 6-3, 6-0, and then avenged her only SLC loss by defeating Wilmot’s Catherine Manlolo 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the semis. She lost to Delavan’s Lauren Kuntz, a player she had not played yet this season, in the title match 6-1, 6-4.
“The No. 1 doubles team really played well,” Dolatowski said, adding that all three doubles pairings defeated teams they had lost to earlier in the season.
Alli Zeman and Olivia Leuck, at No. 1 doubles, finished third, defeating two teams they had lost to earlier this fall.
They began by defeating a Delavan-Darien pair they had lost to in three sets earlier. This time, they won in two sets – 6-2, 7-6(2). After losing in the semifinals 6-1, 6-2, the pair came back to defeat Waterford 6-2, 7-5 in the third-place match. They had lost to Waterford earlier, as well.
Both the No. 2 doubles team – Kim Brown and Lydia Crabtree – and the No. 3 team of Paige Puntillo and Laura Christoph lost their first round matches but came back to win their next two matches to finish fifth.
Brown and Crabtree defeated two teams they had lost to earlier, while Puntillo and Christoph defeated one.
Shelly Sturdevant, at No. 2 singles, also finished fifth, winning her final match in three sets, 6-3, 5-7, 10-4.
The Demon girls will conclude the regular season at Waukesha South today in a non-conference dual meet.
WIAA Division 1 subsectionals will begin Monday at Elkhorn, with sectionals set for Wednesday at Lake Geneva.