The streak continues.
After withstanding a furious late rally, the Kapaun Mount Carmel girls tennis team held off Bishop Carroll 5-4 and extended its regular-season winning streak to 12 over the Eagles.
Trailing 4-1 after the doubles matches and the conclusion of two singles matches, Carroll won two straight singles matches and had leads in the final two.
But the Crusaders' Rachel Baldwin rallied in the first set on No. 5 singles to win 7-5, and then won the second set 6-4 over Paige Lauer to seal the win.
"We were biting our nails, that's for sure," Kapaun coach Kathy Schulte said. "Our matches with Carroll are always so close that I don't truly feel like we have their number. Every year it's like this match."
Kapaun used its strength at the top of its lineup to pull away from Carroll.
In No. 1 doubles, sisters Maddie and Allie Schulte defeated Courtney Lubbers and Maddie Oxler 6-1, 6-2, and Abby Stevens and Madeline Engel also won in straight sets (7-5, 6-2) over Lauer and Annie Feldcamp.
In the top two singles matches, Stevens defeated Lubbers 6-0, 6-1 and Maddie Schulte won 6-0, 6-3.
"Bishop Carroll has such a good team, so that makes the match so intense," Stevens said. "It's such a relief that we won. It helps to the team's confidence to beat Carroll."
The Eagles' fourth and sixth players (Feldcamp and Lexie Dorn) won both of their matches in straight sets to cut Kapaun's lead to 4-3.
Before any of the final four singles matches began, Kathy Schulte made it a point to tell each player that the Crusaders needed only one point to win. She thought it would be good motivation.
"I told them that I wanted them to know that this match is important and to leave everything on the court," Kathy Schulte said. "I didn't want them to have any regrets if they didn't win."
Baldwin knew what was at stake in the last four matches, but she had no clue that her victory was the deciding point.
"It was a good match and we each had some good rallies," Baldwin said. "If I would have known that my match was for the win... I don't think I could have handled that."
Kapaun 5, Bishop Carroll 4
Singles—Stevens, KMC def. Lubbers 6-0, 6-1; M. Schulte, KMC def. Oxler 6-0, 6-3; Dold, BC def. A. Schulte 6-4, 4-6, 10-5; Feldcamp, BC def. Engel 6-4, 6-2; Baldwin, KMC def. Lauer 7-5, 6-4; Dorn, BC def. McKenzie 6-2, 6-0.
Doubles—Schulte-Schulte, KMC, def. Lubbers-Oxler 6-1, 6-2; Stevens-Engel, KMC def. Lauer-Feldcamp 7-5, 6-2; Dold-Dorn, BC def. Baldwin-McKenzie 6-1, 6-2.