Kelsey Poisson flexes her muscles during her first singles championship
at the WSC tourney. Rocky River and Bay tied with 32 points
each, but River won the conference crown with two wins over
Bay during the season. (West Life photo by Larry Bennet)
ties Bay but wins WSC tennis crown
By Matt Pawlikowski
Published Oct. 3, 2007
was just supposed to be a walk in the park for Rocky River. But
when senior second singles player Jesse Magidan went down with an
illness, suddenly thoughts of an outright West Shore Conference
crown were questionable.
“We were behind from the start knowing we were missing
one of the clutch players in the
history of our program,” said coach Ben Purdy. “She had food
poisoning and couldn’t make the game, so I knew despite the fact
we had it clinched, we still wanted to be on top and it would be
With her out of the line-up, River would call on senior
and three-year letter-winner Mackenzie Hillow to fill those big
shoes. Hillow would make it all the way to the finals before
losing to Bay, giving Bay a one-point lead at the time. But
with champs at first and second doubles for River that day, coupled
with a semi-final upset that saw Bay’s first doubles team lose to
Midview, River got the point back to end the afternoon with a tie
for first place. Fairview and Midview took home third place
honors with 20 points, while Avon was fifth, scoring 18.
“I’m real proud of the way we played,” said Purdy.
“We did what we had to do. We respect the other teams in our conference
and have to play our best to defeat all these teams.”
As for Hillow, she was the story of the conference
meet. Purdy told her there was going to be a time when he needed
her to step up, and sure enough, she came through. Purdy woke her
up early Saturday, and came through making it to the finals in the
“What a cool story for her,” said Purdy. “I called
her early in the morning and she said she would be over to the courts,
showed up and played well for us. I’m really proud of her.”
Bay came up strong in the singles column, and got
its wins in the WSC from Kelsey Poisson, who took home first with
her 6-4, 6-0 win over Celia
Waggoner; Chantelle Layton, who beat River’s Molly Kenny 6-4; 6-0,
and Sarah Chen, who took the third singles title, 6-4, 6-0.
Fairview got a nice performance out of Kelsey Kilbane,
who after falling to Bay’s Poisson 6-1, 6-2 in the semifinals, came
back to take third place honors in the third singles with a 5-7,
6-2, 6-0 win over Midview.
The Warriors’ Merianna Shihada also took home third
in the second singles with her 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 win over Midview. Also
faring well was the second doubles team of Liz Pawlowski and Kristin
Hasselschwerdt, who also claimed third place honors with its 7-5,
6-1 win over Avon’s Sruti Ramadugu and Demaline.
Avon’s top placer was Lindsay Aston, who was third
in third singles with her 6-0, 6-1 win over Midview. The team of
Lauren Aston and Jody Wagner took home fourth place in first doubles.
River’s big wins came in the double competition, where
Kaitlyn Super and Allie Sperli won the first doubles, with a 6-2,
5-7, 6-3 win over Midview, and the second doubles where senior captains
Lindsey Hobson and Alyssa Abraham downed Bay’s Robbin Banasiak and
Christine Kander 6-1, 6-0.
“The two of them know how to play the game,” said
Purdy. “ I’m really excited to see good doubles players and not
good tennis players in that slot, and this year they have beat some
Rocky River clinched the West Shore Conference championship
by virtue of its two hard fought regular season wins over Bay.
On Monday, River played the second of two matches against Bay, River
being Bay’s only loss in the conference to that point.
The first matchup two weeks ago saw River winning
3-2, winning at second singles with Madigan, first doubles with
junior Kaitlyn Super and Sperli, and second doubles with Hobson
First singles junior and two-time reigning WSC conference
champ Waggoner along with junior third singles player Kenney
each lost close, hard fought matches. Nevertheless, River
The rematch last week would see the same results as
the first. The exact same girls won at the exact same positions
the second time around, with River taking a 3-2 win. That,
along with the 5-0 season finale win Thursday against Fairview gave
Rocky River’s girls a perfect 12-0 record in the conference and
took back the conference crown they had lost the previous year to