GRATERFORD >> After three years of gaining abundant experience and confidence, Owen J. Roberts junior Meredith Lee made it truly count Monday. She became the 2015 Pioneer Athletic Conference Singles Tournament champion.
Lee upended Methacton senior Mihaela Codreanu, the three-time champion, 6-3, 6-2 in the final Monday morning at Perkiomen Valley High School’s courts.
‘“I am very happy,” said Lee, who had dropped two previous meetings to Codreanu in the finals of this tournament. “I just played such a knowledgeable opponent. With as much experience as she has, you just have to take what you can learn from her. I take each match from each tournament and learn from it.”
In an unusual twist, Lee was to play Codreanu a second time Monday afternoon since the Warriors and Wildcats met for the PAC-10 team title in a dual meet in Bucktown. Methacton won that meeting, 4-3, but there was no real rematch since Codreanu wound up defaulting after three games due to sickness.
“I felt like I was mixing up my shots,” said Lee. “I made her move around on my shots as much as she could. I also got my first serve in, hit the ball and moved around as well as I could with her shots.”
It has been a big year for Lee and the Wildcats, and she felt glad to be part of it.
“We have some new young players to go along with our old players,” said Lee. “Everybody goes all out. There are no divisions. We are all pretty tight.”
Lee is already looking forward to the District 1 Tournament, where she will tangle against more outstanding competition.
“That is one of my favorite tournaments all year,” she said. “I know a lot of the girls going to districts. We have a lot of fun together.”
Lee sharpens her game at the High Performance Tennis Academy in Bala Cynwyd.
“Meredith is so solid,” said Styer. “Her composure over the past two years has been rock solid. She works hard. This is what she has to show for it. I am happy for her. She is a great kid. She deserves it.”
Styer is also impressed with the outstanding players who have entered the PAC-10 as freshmen this season and have created such great competition throughout the entire league.
“It has been a tidal wave,” said Styer. “The PAC-10 is loaded with these quality players.”
Codreanu thought Lee just had the better performance this day.
“I played well, but she played great,” said Codreanu. “That is good for her. I still am focusing on districts and states. That is my focus right now.”
Spring-Ford freshman Tori Alexander took third place with a 3-6, 6-4, 10-6 victory over Phoenixville freshman Julia Gumieniak.
“The first set was really tough,” said Alexander. “I couldn’t get a rhythm going. The second set I got it going. She played really good.
“I really went all out. I pushed it and was making points really fast.”
Gumieniak was just glad to advance as far as she did in the tournament in her first appearance, too.
“I am happy that I am here,” said Gumieniak. “I played a lot of good players. My forehand was working. I am glad to make it here.”
Methacton freshman Dina Nouaime wound up winning the fifth-place playoff with a 7-5, 7-6 (7-2 tiebreaker) victory over Elaina Lee.