None of Allie Schulte’s opponents could win a game against her at the City League tennis tournament Saturday, until she faced Northwest’s Lindy Wilkerson. Kapaun’s Schulte won 30 straight games, and when Wilkerson ended her streak by taking the first game in the second set of the singles championship match, frustration set in.
“Losing the first game always freaks me out because I feel like that sets the tone for the rest of the match. I always know it’s getting close if I lose the first game,” Schulte said. “I was getting pretty mad in the second set.”
After winning the first set 6-0, Schulte rallied in the second set and fought off Wilkerson 6-4, helping Kapaun earn the City League team title.
“(Schulte) just had to regroup and she did a good job of composing herself and getting right back in there,” Kapaun coach Kathy Schulte said. “It can be such a momentum change between every set.”
Wilkerson, the third seed in the tournament, defeated Bishop Carroll’s second-seeded Courtney Lubbers in the semifinal round.
“(Wilkerson) battles every time and she really came to play today,” Kathy Schulte said. “She played fantastic against (Lubbers), and it was extremely helpful. Points wouldn’t have turned out that way if (Lubbers) would have been in the final.”
Kapaun’s doubles team Elizabeth Pringle and Carmen Mindt experienced a similar second set battle in the doubles championship match against Carroll’s Paige Lauer and Natalie Lubbers, and after a tiebreaker, won the match 6-4, 7-6.
“Most of the pressure was on (Carroll), because we had a lot of chances to win that set,” Pringle said. “If we would have lost that second set they probably would have had the momentum going into the third.”
The Kapaun pair lost to the Carroll team in a tournament at Collegiate.
“This doubles team, it took us a while to find them, and that tournament where they lost to them was the first tournament that they had played together,” Kathy Schulte said. “I just feel like they have been gaining momentum every time they play.”
Although the Crusaders claimed the City League tennis title for the eighth consecutive year, Kathy Schulte said this was the hardest of the five she’s been involved with.
“We definitely were not feeling really confident coming in to the day,” Kathy Schulte said. “Every time we meet up with (Carroll) everyone’s got to bring their ‘A’ game, I never know what to expect. I was really proud of how my girls battled today.”