By TR HARLAN
No matter what the scoreboard says, it’s never easy in the post-season.
The Chesterton girls tennis team picked up the IHSAA Portage Sectional title
for the first time since 2007 with a 5-0 victory over Valparaiso on Saturday
morning, but it wasn’t that easy.
“There are no guarantees,” Chesterton coach Gretchen Shinn said. “Everyone
is even. The regular season doesn’t matter anymore. After the post-season
starts, you have to do it all over again.”
Chesterton ran through the Duneland Athletic Conference season en route to a
league title and perfect 7-0 record, losing just one point.
“We only lost one match in the DAC all year, so we knew we were marked,”
Shinn said. “Valpo always gets up for these matches and we knew it would be
tough. We just had to come out and play and find a way to get at least three
Two-third’s of that was picked up quickly as Bobbi Modesto won her match at
No. 1 singles 6-0, 6-0 against Jordan Lewandowski is less than a half-hour.
Margaret and Elizabeth Shinn didn’t take much longer in dispatching
Katherine McDonald and Allison Hess 6-1, 6-2 at No. 1 doubles to remain
undefeated on the year.
“Knowing we have two points is great,” Shinn said. “They can pretty much put
it on automatic. They’ve been so consistent all year.”
The three courts still in play battled for nearly two more hours before
determing a winner and it was Chesterton’s Cassi Moore that came up with the
clincher. She beat Lauren Kammerer 6-4, 6-4 at No. 2 singles.
“That’s a huge win,” Shinn said. “She really got pushed today and I was
really concerned. She was up 5-2 in the second set and lost a couple games
and anything can happen.
“Cassi was down Love-30 in that last game too, but she kept plugging away
and staying in it to win four straight points.”
The Trojans went up 4-0 in the match as the No. 2 doubles team of Shelbie
Sullivan and Olivia Gordon beat Amanda Stolarz and Lauren Hoffman 3-6, 6-2,
“Valpo completed changed their doubles teams,” Shinn said. “(Olivia and
Shelbie) seem to find ways to come through. Many days, they’ve gone three
sets and they’ve done it so many times that it helps when they get into
“Even sometimes when you aren’t playing your best tennis, you have to find a
way to win. You won’t always play the best tennis of your life.”
The fifth point of the day came at No. 2 singles when Erin DeVaney outlasted
Allison Hauser 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.
“Erin was healthy today and I think that made a big difference,” Shinn said.
“Erin has all the experience in the world and she wins big matches for us. I
knew she could do it today.”
The Trojans will compete in the Portage Regional on Tuesday when they play
Hobart beginning at 4:30 p.m.