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Freshman Krause wins PAC singles title in all-Spring-Ford final

GRATERFORD >> Spring-Ford High girls tennis coaches Todd Reagan and Devon Jarvie enjoyed a rare treat Saturday during the finals of the Pioneer Athletic Conference Singles Championships at Perkiomen Valley High School.

They witnessed a 1-2-3 sweep by their top Ram players, Cady Krause, Isabelle Mejia and Riley Burke.

Krause, a freshman, copped the title with a three-set victory over Mejia. The scores were 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 in a match of Spring-Ford’s No. 1 and No. 2 singles players.

“It just goes to show you how hard and how much work they have put in, five, eight, 10 years,” said Reagan. “They have really worked hard to build their game. It is really great to go 1-2-3 in a Spring-Ford uniform.”

It represented a rare first for Reagan and his successful Spring-Ford program, which is nearing its second consecutive PAC team championship with two matches remaining on the schedule.

He cited Methacton sweeping three of the top four singles victories in the finals many years ago.

“It is certainly a rare feat for one school to go 1-2-3,” said Reagan.

 

Spring-Ford’s Isabel Mejia finished second behind teammate Cady Krause at Saturday’s Pioneer Athletic Conference girls tennis singles championship. (Barry Taglieber – For MediaNews Group)

Krause entered the two-day tournament as the No. 3 seed behind Perkiomen Valley’s Nadja Townsend and Pope John Paul II’s Veronica Marinari. ‘But she strung together five straight victories to claim the individual gold medal.

Krause won by pro-set scores of 8-2 and 8-5 before prevailing in a three-set match against Rhea Desai, Upper Merion’s No. 1 singles player. Those scores were 6-0, 2-6, 6-1. Krause then beat Marinari 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinals Saturday morning before winning the PAC title in the early afternoon hours.

The day’s action was completed at 1:45 p.m. Saturday afternoon after play began at 9 a.m.

It has been quite a freshman year for Krause and quite a learning experience as well. 

“It was hard  coming in as a freshman because other people know how it works,” said Krause.

Krause has already dedicated herself to the sport of tennis. She has been playing tennis for five years and currently practices and plays five days per week at Frog Hollow.

She was able to use her forehand to hit key points throughout the championship match against Mejia and throughout the tourney.

Mejia was seeded No. 5 when play started Friday morning at 9 o’clock at PV. But she put together four straight victories prior to the title match. She also had to finish up with a pair of three-set matches Saturday.

Mejia first advanced with 8-2 and 8-0 pro-set wins. Then came a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Pottsgrove’s No. 4 seed, Mya Krueger. In the semis, Mejia posted a three-set victory over Burke, 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, in another all-Spring-Ford encounter.

Mejia said it was difficult playing against her teammate, Krause, in the finals.

“It was really hard, but I’m glad both of us were in the finals,” said Mejia. “We’re on the same team.”

Spring-Ford’s Riley Burke finished third at the PAC championships Saturday. (Barry Taglieber – For MediaNews Group)

It was also hard playing two straight grueling three-set matches to end the tourney.

“I had to play three-setters in both matches,” said Mejia. “It was really hard. I just tried my best.”

Burke was seeded eighth at the outset. But she won her first two matches 8-0 and 8-1 before knocking off the top-seeded Townsend 6-4, 7-6 (4) in the quarterfinal round Friday. 

In the fifth-place playoff, Townsend came from behind to top Krueger 8-5 in one semifinal and Pottsgrove’s Jaelynn Kennedy, the Falcons’ No. 3 singles player, won by default over Desai in the other semi. Townsend then defeated Kennedy 6-2, 6-2 in the final for fifth place.

Notes >> The first five finishers will advance to the District 1 Singles Championship to begin play on Friday, Sept. 27, at the Legacy Tennis Center. … Perkiomen Valley coach Jennifer Dixon served as tournament director. … Spring-Ford has dual meet matches remaining against Pottsgrove Tuesday and at Owen J. Roberts HS Thursday.

 

Pope John Paul II’s Veronica Marinari finished fourth at the PAC singles championship Saturday. (Barry Taglieber – For MediaNews Group)

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