Victories over Valparaiso in the sectional title match last season and in a
regular-season meeting earlier this year gave the Chesterton girls tennis
team all the confidence they needed heading into Wednesday’s sectional
opener with the Vikings.
Unfortunately for the Trojans, they just didn’t have the depth.
Chesterton got a win from sophomore Meg Modesto at No. 1 singles, but that
was all the Trojans could muster in a 4-1 loss to Valparaiso in the opening
round of the Portage sectional on Wednesday.
The Vikings will play the winner of Thursday’s semifinal contest between
Portage and Boone Grove in Saturday’s championship match.
“Today came down to depth and Valparaiso just had more than us,” Chesterton
assistant coach Tom Bour said.
The Vikings jumped out quickly and captured both doubles points as senior
Rachel McCrum fell in her final career match alongside partner Ellen Kerr
6-1, 6-1 to Valparaiso’s No. 1 doubles team of Brooke Sever and Madisen
“The biggest thing we talked about was getting off to a quick start and to
keep them from gaining confidence,” Bour said. “The opposite happened. They
got us on every court except Meg’s to start the match.”
Valparaiso captured the match when No. 2 singles Kelly Kennedy dispatched
Chesterton senior Margaret Shinn 6-2, 6-3. As the Vikings cheered, Shinn
shared a tender moment with coach (and mother) Gretchen Shinn.
“We rode Margaret when she played doubles for us as an underclassmen, then
we rode her as a singles player,” Bour said. “We’ve been riding Margaret for
the last four years. She’s such an important player for us.”
Even with the match decided, Chesterton continued to fight strong as Modesto
closed out her match and junior J.J. Lee battled tough against Rachel
Willing, ultimately falling 7-5, 6-3.
The sectional title typically goes through either Valparaiso or Chesterton
each year and Bour had little issue with being matched up against the
Vikings in the first round.
“It’s the blind draw and it’s something that we deal with,” Bour said. “This
was a great match and give a lot of credit to Valparaiso for having the
depth. They had us today.”
Valparaiso 4, Chesterton 1
SINGLES - Meg Modesto (C) d. Caitlin Kennedy 6-0, 7-6 (7-3); Kelly Kennedy
(V) d. Margaret Shinn 6-2, 6-3; Rachel Willing (V) d. Jessica Lee 7-5, 6-3.
DOUBLES -- Brooke Sever/Madisen Kammerer (V) d. Rachel McCrum/Ellen Kerr
6-1, 6-1; Katelyn Spencer/Rachel Crookston (V) d. Natalie Petro/Abby Burke
Records: Valparaiso 16-1; Chesterton 12-3.