LEBANON — Catherine Rabatin of Penn Manor defeated Avery Palandjian of Manheim Township for the Lancaster-Lebanon League girls tennis Class 3A singles championship 6-4, 6-2 on Monday afternoon.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because Rabatin has now won three straight L-L titles — over Palandjian each year.
Monday at Cedar Crest, Palandjian took a 4-1 lead in the first set and was serving before Rabatin found her rhythm.
“I was just thinking to myself that I needed to get more spin on the ball and better height,” Rabatin said.
She did both, and won the next 10 games to claim the first set and go up 5-0 in the second.
“In the regular season, I would get down on myself (if I fell behind),” Rabatin said. “This time I would just tell myself that (Palandjian) hit a good shot.”
Palandjian had a few good shots left at the end, taking two more games and even fending off three match points to extend the match.
Rabatin won the last three points to clinch the gold medal.
In the doubles final, Palandjian claimed a gold medal with teammate Kayla Kurtz in a 6-3, 6-0 win over the Hempfield duo of Grace Lehman and Sophia Carson. The Blue Streaks never trailed, though the first set was 3-3 before Palandjian and Kurtz ran off nine game-wins in a row.
Kurtz won the third-place singles match 6-3, 6-2 over Hempfield’s Lehman.
Allison Evans of Elizabethtown beat Ryan Gerhardt of Lampeter-Strasburg 6-4, 6-2 in the fifth-place contest.
Jenna Rychener of Conestoga Valley nabbed seventh place after the longest match of the afternoon, a 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 win over Maddi Sauder of Cocalico.
In Flight Two singles, the Blue Streaks’ Jade Miller downed Kylie Gerhart of Lampeter-Strasburg 6-2, 6-1.
In Flight Three singles, Alex Gregory of Hempfield beat Julia Anderson over Elizabethtown 7-5, 6-3.
Nizaly Ortiz-Kreiner of Elizabethtown won the Flight Four final 6-2, 7-5 over Lydia Sullivan of Hempfield.
Gregory and Sullivan won the Flight Two doubles final 8-2 over Anderson and Ortiz-Kreiner. At Flight Three doubles, Lyndsey Steele and Katie Finn of Lampeter-Strasburg won 8-3 over Janelle Kingsboro and Emily Frownfelter of Donegal.
The defending 2A champion had to fight through early difficulties before stringing several games in row.
Lancaster Catholic’s Anna Millen defeated Maddie Gerz of Lancaster Mennonite 7-5, 6-0 to claim her second consecutive league title.
One key to turning around the first set, in which Millen trailed 3-1, was adjusting her second serve.
“Getting the second serve in was big for me, because I lost some points on double faults in the first set,” Millen said. “I started just rolling my second serve in underhand.”
That was one of the adjustments that allowed Millen to win four straight games for a 5-4 advantage. Gerz broke Millen’s serve to even the first set 5-5, but Millen won the last eight games of the match to cruise to the victory.
“I think I just started hitting the ball with more pace to it,” Millen said of sweeping the second set. “I was really tight in the first set.”
In the doubles match, Gerz and Sarah Steckbeck defeated Maggie Auman and Sophia Barbar of Lancaster Country Day 6-1, 7-5. The second set featured seven consecutive broken serves until Getz finished the contest with a hold.
Ali Bender of Elco took 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 win over Maggie Auman of Lancaster Country Day in the third-place match.
Sarah Steckbeck of Lancaster Mennonite beat Isabel Harnish of Annville-Cleona 6-0, 6-0 in the fifth-place match.