ROCHELLE — On the evening that Rochelle Township High School recognized seven senior Lady Hub tennis players, it was fitting that the final point to decide Thursday’s match against the Dixon Duchesses came down to a senior coming through for the purple and white.
With both teams tied 3-3, action moved to the No. 2 doubles court, where Rochelle senior Sawyer McGee and teammate Sylvia Hasz were locked in a tight battle with Dixon’s Chloe Coil and Kyarra McGlown. Despite dropping the opening set, McGee and Hasz rallied to claim the second set, forcing a third-set tiebreaker to decide the winner of the nonconference match.
Behind a strong finish that saw the Lady Hub combo take several of the final tiebreaker points, McGee and Hasz defeated Coil and McGlown 3-6, 6-2, 10-7 to seal a come-from-behind 4-3 victory for Rochelle. The win also snapped the team’s six-match losing streak.
“I’m happy that we were able to take the win, especially on Senior Night,” McGee said. “There was a great atmosphere at the courts today and we played with such high energy the whole time… It was exciting to be recognized with all of my friends, and it’s sad that we’re almost done, but this win boosts our confidence so much. We’ve struggled recently, but we’re playing much better than we have in the past and I think this win will definitely carry us forward.”
Dixon took a 2-0 lead after winning both the No. 1 and No. 2 singles matches. Juniors Megan Thompson and Josie Lundquist put Rochelle on the board, however, defeating Maci Kelly and Meagan McClane in straight sets (6-2, 6-2). Junior Emma Hicks tied the match 2-2 with a victory at No. 3 singles, topping Emma Halla 6-3, 6-0 for Rochelle’s lone singles win Thursday.
After Dixon secured the No. 1 doubles point, Rochelle evened the match once again, with juniors Ashley Knight and Ella McKinney winning 6-2, 6-4 over Ange Gray and Miriya Jones. The Lady Hubs (2-8, 0-3 Interstate 8) will play a road contest at Morris on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.