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By Daniel Makarewicz, firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated Oct 8, 2016
ROCK ISLAND -- The singular objective the Alleman girls' tennis team carried into the Western Big 6 Conference meet on Saturday was a title repeat, a goal that easily was achieved.
In doing so, the Pioneers epitomized dominance.
Alleman scored a maximum 28 points during the Big 6 meet at Shelly Weiner Memorial Tennis Complex, comprising the entire championship matches in the singles and doubles brackets. No team has come close to that final score at the event since 2008.
A year after winning its first league title, the Pioneers captured both the singles and doubles championships for the first time ever.
"I don't know what adjective to use," Alleman coach Leslie Hird said. "It's amazing. It's truly amazing. This has never happened before. It doesn't get much better than this."
As far as a championship performance, this one pretty much was perfect.
"I'm never going to forget this," said Alleman senior Mary Grevas, who teamed with classmate Ellie Rouse to win the doubles competition. "I don't think we could have done any better."
For the second consecutive season, the doubles final was an all-Alleman pairing. Grevas and Rouse, who scored the top seed, earned two-set wins in the quarterfinals and semifinals before a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory over junior Noely Baumann and sophomore Lauren Hird.
Doubles partners for the first time, Baumann and Hird placed second as the fifth seed. The duo toppled the third and second seeds in the quarterfinal and semifinals to reach the championship match.
"Somehow we raised (our play) up another notch," Leslie Hird said. "That's what is incredible."
The same thing happened in the singles bracket.
Top-seeded sophomore Lily Schoeck dropped five games in three straight-set victories on the day, but it was senior teammate Brenna Hogan who reached the final as the third seed. Hogan scored a 6-0, 6-2 win over second-seeded Quincy senior Alexis Petty.
Before the final, the Pioneers' singles entrants had lost eight games in four matches.
"We're really deep," said Schoeck, who finished as the Big 6 runner-up last season. "It was kind of weird (playing your teammate), but this is a really good accomplishment."
Reaching the maximum point total is proof.
"No complaints," Leslie Hird said. "I can't ask them to play any better."
Alleman only wanted a repeat. What it got was history.
"We all came to play. We all wanted to do well. We executed in our matches," Rouse said. "I'm going to remember this forever."