It was business as usual for Magnificat’s Anna Roggenburk on Friday.
The Avon Lake resident won 24 of 25 games — including her first 14 — in her first two state tournament matches, defeating Beavercreek’s Julia Bays, 6-0, 6-0, in the opening round and Dublin Jerome’s Katherine Wang, 6-1, 6-0, in the quarterfinals at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
The defending state champ will play her teammate Olivia Rondini in the semifinals today at 9 a.m.
“I was really focused today,” said Roggenburk, who has won 47 of her last 49 state tournament games, going back to the second set of the 2017 semifinals. “I was working more on just putting balls in play and hitting them deep into the corners. I did really well coming into the net and hitting my volleys. I think that worked really well.”
Roggenburk stands two wins away from her second-straight state championship, and second in Magnificat girls history. She avoids a rematch with last year’s runner-up Cassie Alcala, who was upset in the opening round, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, by North Canton’s Laurel Utterback, the fifth-seed from the Medina district.
Instead, Roggenburk will face Rondini, a junior who took out Utterback,
3-6, 6-1, 6-1, in the quarterfinals for her second three-set match victory on the day. Roggenburk defeated Rondini in the Oberlin sectional semifinals, 6-1, 7-5.
“It’s so awesome to see two Magnificat girls make the semifinals,” Roggenburk said. “It does kind of (stink) that we have to play each other. We’re great competitors, but we’re great friends so we won’t hold a grudge or anything. I know we both want to win, so I think it will be an exciting match.”
The winner and loser of Roggenburk’s semifinal face either Westlake’s Emma Peeler or Mount Notre Dame’s Kelli Niehaus in the final or the third-place match. Like Roggenburk, both are four-time state qualifiers.
Peeler is making her first trip to the semifinals after defeating Dublin Jerome’s Reagan Resor, 6-0, 6-2, in her opening match and Turpin’s Caitlin Fisher, 6-3, 6-3, in the quarterfinals. She will face a tough test against Niehaus, who only lost two games Friday and eliminated Peeler in the opening rounds of the 2015 and 2017 state tournaments.
Roggenburk has had success against both, defeating Peeler in each of the last two Oberlin sectional and Medina district finals. She defeated Niehaus in the second round of the 2016 state tournament.
“Coming into the state finals, especially in these matches, I come in super focused,” Roggenburk said. “I want to prove that I’m a consistent player right off the bat. I think last year I was very nervous. This time I’m going to try to stay really loose.”
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