WITMER - Fans of tennis, and the ladies' game in particular, enjoyed sunny skies Monday afternoon at Conestoga Valley High School.
And the beautiful weather left the contingent of Lancaster-Lebanon League girls' tennis players with an equally sunny countenance come evening-time, especially for those toting hard-earned place medals around their necks.
Lampeter-Strasburg senior Taylor Capoferri came away with the AAA Flight One championship, besting Manheim Township's Kate Moore 7-5, 6-3 to lock up the day's top individual medal.
"It feels nice, I've played number two or three all the time, so it's weird playing number one and being (champion)," said Capoferri, who was named Section Two player of the year before the match.
Both Moore and Capoferri had to battle unforced errors in the opening set, each player trying to gain an upper hand.
"That was the key because we were both making some unforced errors. That was my first final and her first final, and she did really well," Capoferri said, mentioning her friendship and familiarity with Moore as members of the same country club.
After Moore battled her way to a 4-3 lead in the first set, Capoferri found her groove, taking the lead when Moore's return volley came up short against the net.
Suddenly Moore had trouble finding her serves, easing some of the stress on Capoferri.
"Usually when I started the game with 15-0 or 30-0 those were the games I had the most momentum in," Capoferri said, inching toward match point. "It was nice that I was up 40-0 at the end so I could take some of the pressure off myself."
All the while Taylor's freshman sister Sarah Capoferri was playing the Flight Two final on an adjacent court, taking the first set from Hempfield's Sarah Klag before Klag rebounded to win Flight Two 4-6, 6-4, 10-5.
But Klag and Moore weren't finished with their day as they would soon meet up in the Flight One Doubles.
Moore, a sophomore, partnered with senior Carolyn Mann as the Blue Streaks fought past Klag and freshman standout Amanda Hagino of Hempfield 7-5 (2), 6-3.
The Streaks' duo took a 3-0 lead in the opening set before Hagino's power serve opened up a Knights' comeback bid.
"We were fortunately able to break Hagino's serve in the first game, that was really big," Moore said. "Then obviously she got her serve going next time but it was good to go up 3-0. We definitely needed it to get us going."
Offsetting Hagino's serve were Mann's and Moore's affinity for working close to the net, many volleys settled with either a soft lob or a close-range rocket.
"It kind of throws them off when we step-in and volley, so we knew from the start that was something we had to do," Moore said.
The veteran Mann credited coach Doug Pennington for putting the tandem together at this point in the season.
"I think we're very opposite players the way we play, and I think that's why Coach P put us together," said Mann. "That's why we work well together and of course we're going to keep working on it, keep getting better."
The duo will have a chance to do just that as districts begin on Thursday at the Hershey Racquet Club.
Capoferri, Moore, Hagino, and McCaskey senior Sophie Rathmell will all advance to the District 3 AAA singles tournament. The Section One player of the year, Hagino bested Rathmell 6-2, 6-3 in the third-place game.
At-large bids remain for Township's Julia Darkey (5th place), a 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 winner over Cedar Crest's Greta Strunk, and Donegal's Anna Farmer (7th place), a 6-0, 6-1 winner over Cocalico's Shannon Glover.
Gaining a AA district berth is 3rd-place winner Pequea Valley's Lenea Riehl. Meanwhile, Lancaster Catholic's Isabel Midcap remains in the hunt after a 6-3, 6-4 5th-place victory over Lancaster Mennonite's Naomi Bronkema.
Other winners on the day were Hempfield's Katie Donell and Livia Jackson in the Flight Three and Flight Four finals, respectively, the former defeating Margot Herzog of Donegal, 6-1, 6-3, and the latter Brianna Titi of Cocalico 6-1, 5-7, 10-8.
Cocalico's tandem of Titi and Lauren Good defeated Donegal's Herzog and Ally Wivell 8-3 in an 8-game pro-set for the Flight Two Doubles title.
L-L Girls' Tennis - Individual Finals
AAA Flight One Final - T. Capoferri (LS) d. K. Moore (MT) 7-5, 6-3
Flight One 3rd place - A. Hagino (HEM) d. S. Rathmell (JPM) 6-2, 6-3
Flight One 5th place - J. Darkey (MT) d. G. Strunk (CC) 6-3, 2-6, 6-4
Flight One 7th place - A. Farmer (DON) d. S. Glover (COC) 6-0, 6-1
Flight Two Final - S. Klag (HEM) d. S. Capoferri (LS) 4-6, 6-4, 10-5
Flight Three Final - K. Donell (HEM) d. M. Herzog (DON) 6-1, 6-3
Flight Four Final - Livia Jackson (HEM) d. B. Titi (COC) 6-1, 5-7, 10-8
AA Flight One 3rd place - L. Riehl (PV) d. S. Nye (ELCO) 5-7, 6-4, 6-2
AA Flight One 5th place - I. Midcap (LC) d. N. Bronkema (LMH) 6-3, 6-4
AAA Flight One Doubles - C. Mann / K. Moore (MT) d. A. Hagino / S. Klag (HEM) 7-6 (2), 6-4
AAA Flight Two Doubles - L. Good / B. Titi (COC) d. M. Herzog / A. Wivell (DON) 8-3 (8-game pro-set)