The Cloverleaf girls tennis team won three singles championships Tuesday, but fell just short of winning the team title — and overall league crown — at the Portage Trail Conference Tournament at Ravenna High.
Norton, which tied Cloverleaf by going 13-1 in the PTC regular season, finished second at all three singles spots and won at both doubles positions in the tournament, giving it 44 points to the Colts’ 41.
Cloverleaf, which was seeking the first girls tennis title in school history, got 10 points each from first singles player Emily Dunbar, No. 2 Maddie Huff and No. 3 Helaina Limas, but finished fifth at first doubles and fourth at the No. 2 spot.
Points were awarded on a 10-8-7-6-5-4-3-1 basis for first through eighth place.
“We’re all a little disappointed we didn’t win (the team title), but I’m still proud of everyone,” Limas said. “Everyone did the best that they could.”
Dunbar, who defeated Norton’s Spencer Clark 6-0, 6-0 in the final, ran her record to 19-0. The three-time state qualifier and 2015 Division II state runner-up has not dropped a game this season.
“She’s just very focused and playing great,” Cloverleaf coach Brenda Hewit said of the three-time Gazette MVP and University of Richmond recruit.
Huff downed the Panthers’ Casey Clark 6-3, 7-6 (2) in the title match to improve to 18-2 for the season. The two split two matches in the regular season, with Huff winning Monday to help the Colts defeat Norton 3-2 and forge a tie atop the regular-season standings.
“I was nervous,” the junior said of her 7-2 win in the second-set tiebreaker. “It was like starting over, so I had to play the best I could and take every opportunity I could.”
Limas won three matches to improve to 18-0. The junior defeated Norton’s Taylor Storad 6-1, 6-3 in the final.
“I know how good she is, so I never want to get too confident about it,” said Limas, who beat Storad 6-0, 6-0 a day earlier. “I know how talented she is. I had a really good first set. The second set was a little tougher, but I pulled through.”
The difference in the tournament came on the doubles courts, where Norton’s Sarah Whitaker and Emily Smith won at the first position and Emily Creighton and Jessica Thomas triumphed at the No. 2 spot.
Cloverleaf’s Abby Andrews and Nicole Vargo placed fifth at first doubles and Annacia Dienes and Grace Donnelly were fourth at the No. 2 position.
“We were right in it,” Hewit said of her team’s performance. “The girls played great. That’s all you can ask for — to be in the hunt at the tournament.”