Sectional Champs: The Chesterton girls tennis team captured the IHSAA
Portage Sectional Championship on Saturday afternoon with a 5-0 victory over
Wheeler. The Trojans will face Merrillville on Tuesday at Portage in the
Regional semfinals. Pictured are, front row (l to r), Lauren Ingram and
Cristi Williams. Back row (l to r) are Coach Bob Blossey, Jannon Jeffries,
Sarah Kintzel, Elizabeth Shinn, Amanda Gore, Christine Lambert, Elaine
Schnabel, Erin DeVaney, Bharathi Muthusamy and Coach Gretchen Shinn. (Tribune
photo by TR Harlan)
By TR HARLAN
They don’t just hand out Sectional titles to anyone, so if you’re going to
get one, you have to earn it.
The Chesterton girls tennis team picked up two wins on Saturday with a 4-1
victory over Valparaiso in the semifinals and a 5-0 win over Wheeler in the
championship match of the Portage Sectional.
“We had a job to do today, twice, and we did it,” Chesterton coach Gretchen
Shinn said. “We wanted to stay focused and hit solid, good ground strokes. We
needed to be aggressive at the net, but above all, be consistent.”
In the finals, the Trojans had little trouble with Wheeler. Chesterton didn’t
drop a set in advancing to the Portage Regional on Tuesday against
“We knew if we played solid we had a good chance to win this thing,” Shinn
said. “We knew anything could happen.”
Wheeler was unable to win more than two games in any set against the Trojans.
In singles, all three Chesterton players (Elizabeth Shinn, Elaine Schnabel
and Erin DeVaney) all won by 6-2, 6-0 scores.
“We all really wanted this win and I think that helped,” Schnabel, the team’s
lone senior, said. “We won a lot of matches in a row at the end of the year
and kind of hit our streak. We’re all playing well right now.”
In doubles, the duos of Amanda Gore-Christine Lambert and Cristi
Williams-Bharathi Muthusamy won by matching 6-0, 6-1 scores.
“I’m really excited about our doubles teams,” Shinn said. “With our number
one team, we told them that we believe in them. The girls believe in them,
the coaches believe in them and it was time they believed in themselves and
The morning semifinal was a rematch of last year’s final in which Valparaiso
beat the Trojans.
“Last year we didn’t get (a Sectional title) and lost to Valpo when we
probably should have won, but this year is kind of vindicating,” Schnabel
Chesterton got a landslide victory from Schnabel at No. 2 singles 6-0, 6-0
over Mia Kalisch to take a 1-0 lead, but that didn’t last long as Valpo’s
Lauren Prow and Christina Rodich won at No. 1 singles.
“You have to beat good teams twice,” Shinn said. “It was nice to do that this
year. I think they felt a little relieved after Valpo this morning. I think
they were just happy to be in the finals.”
Williams and Muthusamy beat Briana Sever and Katie Shrader 6-3, 6-1 at No. 2
doubles and DeVaney slammed the door with a 6-2, 6-4 win at No. 3 singles
over Jordan Lewandowski.
“I think we were really hungry for a win this morning,” Shinn said. “You
can’t take anything for granted.”
Elizabeth Shinn fought through a slight cold to finish the scoring with a
6-0, 7-6 (7-2) victory over Emily Moore at No. 1 singles.
“Our freshman really know what they are doing,” Schnabel said. “They’re
better than me. I don’t give them any advice.”
Chesterton 5, Wheeler 0
SINGLES – 1. Elizabeth Shinn (C) def. Katie Dials 6-2, 6-0; 2. Elaine
Schnabel (C) def. Sara Frey 6-2, 6-0; 3. Erin DeVaney (C) def. Jessica Marek
DOUBLES – 1. Amanda Gore/Christine Lambert (C) def. Deanne Priomos/Sara
Stambaugh 6-0, 6-1; 2. Cristi Williams/Bharathi Muthusamy (C) def. Kendra
Guerrero/Melissa Deven 6-1, 6-0.
Chesterton 4, Valparaiso 1
SINGLES – 1. Elizabeth Shinn (C) def. Emily Moore 6-0, 7-6 (7-2); 2. Elaine
Schnabel (C) def. Mia Kalisch 6-0, 6-0; 3. Erin DeVaney (C) def. Jordan
Lewandowski 6-2, 6-4.
DOUBLES – 1. Lauren Prow/Christina Rodich (V) def. Amanda Gore/Christine
Lambert 6-0, 6-0; 2. Cristi Williams/Bharathi Muthusamy (C) def. Briana
Sever/Katie Shrader 6-3, 6-1.