It was a new experience for Central York senior Yvonne Peters-Washington.
The top-seeded Peters-Washington won the three-day, five-round YAIAA Class AAA girls singles tournament at South Western High School on Monday afternoon. She sealed the championship with a 6-0, 6-1 win against third-seeded Dagney Markle of New Oxford.
Peters-Washington was the defending District 6 champion, but she moved from State College into the Central York School District in April after her mother's death.
"I've never played a league tournament before," Peters-Washington said. "We didn't have this. We just had districts and took one (to states). This is a nice win. So many extra matches. We had a draw of 32. It was like a pre-qualifier to the qualifier. It was a big tournament. It helps."
Peters-Washington, Markle and consolation match winner Laura Zielinski of Northeastern all earned berths in the upcoming District 3 tournament in Hershey. Dallastown's Christie Friedrich finished fourth and will seek an at-large bid to the event.
Top-seeded Alyssa Neudecker of Delone Catholic captured the Class AA title with a 6-1, 6-4 win against second-seeded Alyssa Miller of Kennard-Dale. Those two along with consolation winner Brooke Yurick of Bermudian Springs have qualified for the District 3 Class AA event. Morgan Orndorff of Biglerville will seek an at-large bid. Yurick defeated Orndorff, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3, in the third-place match.
Peters-Washington won the first nine games of the final before Markle broke the run.
"(Markle) played well actually," Peters-Washington said. "Even though the score didn't reflect it, she played really, really well. She also plays smarter, not harder. She does lobs and drop shots, which I like. I like going against a player like that. She was very good and deserved the No. 2 spot. I think she was the best one I faced (in the league)."
Markle had the misfortune of batting the second-seeded Zielinski for approximately 2 1/2 hours in a three-set semifinal while Peters-Washington advanced with a 6-0, 6-3 win against Friedrich. Markle got a 30-minute break before heading out for the championship match.
"(Peters-Washington) got back everything I tried against her," Markle said. "She's a great player. I tried everything I could."
As a junior last season, Peters-Washington went unbeaten through the league and districts and advanced to the quarterfinals of the PIAA tournament.
"As the level of play increases, you have to step it up," Peters-Washington said. "I learned to play smarter, not harder. I feel like I'm not at my fullest unless I'm challenged. I think I played pretty well. My serve, when it went in, I felt good about it. When I get home, I'm still going to practice though. I wasn't happy with my percentages. I want to be ready for (the start of the league doubles tourney Tuesday)."
Neudecker won the first five games of the first set of her match with Miller. The second set was closer, but Neudecker pulled it out to claim the title.
"My feet were hurting a little bit," Neudecker said. "It was more mental than anything else, but it was fun."
Miller said she made some adjustments after the opening set to make things tighter in the second.
"I just started slicing more and getting her to come to the net," Miller said. "Or keeping her really deep and trying to move her a lot."
Miller advanced to the Class AA final with a straight-set win against the fifth-seeded Orndorff, while Neudecker knocked off the third-seeded Yurick by a 6-3, 6-1 score.
"I was expecting it to be easier," said Neudecker of her match with Yurick. "I had beaten her fairly easily during the regular season, but it wasn't an easy match. I still managed to pull it off."
At South Western High School
Semifinals: (1) Yvonne Peters-Washington,CY, def. (4) Christie Friedrich, Dt, 6-0, 6-3. (3) Dagney Markle, NO, def. (2) Laura Zielinski, Ne, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.
Championship: (1) Peters-Washington, CY, def. (3) Markle, NO, 6-0, 6-1.
Consolation: (2) Zielinski, Ne, def. (4) Friedrich, Dt, 6-1, 6-2.
Semifinals: (1) Alyssa Neudecker, DC, def. (3) Brooke Yurick, BeS, 6-3, 6-1. (2) Alyssa Miller, KD, def. (5) Morgan Orndorff, Big, 6-3, 6-1.
Championship: (1) Neudecker, DC, def. (2) Miller, KD, 6-1, 6-4.
Consolation: (3) Yurick, BeS, def. (5) Orndorff, Big, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.