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High School Sports

State tennis: Avon Lake resident Anna Roggenburk wins second straight title

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Magnificat’s Anna Roggenburk joined a very rare club on Saturday.

The Avon Lake resident became the 17th player to win two state championships in girls tennis, defeating her teammate Olivia Rondini, 6-3, 6-1, in the semifinals before prevailing against Kelli Niehaus, 6-4, 6-0, in the final to defend her crown.

She only dropped nine games in eight state tournament sets at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, winning four sets without losing a game and losing only one in two others.

“I never really thought about winning it two times, so this is a surreal moment for me,” Roggenburk said. “My family and friends all came down and it was just so fun to do it again. I love doing it for my school.”

Rondini took a 2-1 lead in the semifinals and Roggenburk said it took some time for both to settle in because of the natural awkwardness of facing a teammate in such a big match. But once she did she managed to build a sizable lead in the first and take control of the second.

“We were both I think super nervous,” Roggenburk said. “It’s really awkward to play your teammate, especially since we’re both great friends. To be honest, I don’t think we both played our best, but I think I just found more ways to win. I was super nervous so I wasn’t sure I was going to make the shots I needed to make.”

Niehaus defeated Westlake’s Emma Peeler, 6-7, 7-5, 7-5, to reach the final, making it three times in four years that Peeler has been eliminated by Niehaus in the state tournament. She lost to the Mount Notre Dame senior in the 2015 and 2017 opening rounds, both competitive two-set matches.

Peeler was making her first trip to the state semifinals in her fourth trip to the state tournament, capping her career with a fourth-place finish after losing to Rondini, 6-3, 6-0, in the consolation match.

In the final, Niehaus got an early break at 3-2, but Roggenburk immediately answered to even the score at three. She took a 4-3 lead with a hold and carried the momentum.

“She had a lot of fans there so I tried not to let that all get to me,” Roggenburk said. “I knew she was winning, but I just had to take better shot selections. Just hit through the sidelines, stay focused and not let her be able to control how I play.”

The four state tournament victories brought her career record to 148-13 and preserved her undefeated senior season at 36-0. Roggenburk will leave Magnificat as one of the school’s most decorated athletes — a three-time sectional champion, two-time district champion, four-time state qualifier, three-time state finalist with two championships, who helped lead Magnificat to a 2016 team state championship.

Her career is not quite over yet. The Blue Streaks made it to the team state semifinals and will face Olentangy Orange in Columbus today. The winner will face either Mason or Perrysburg in the final shortly after.

“This is one of those things that I will remember for the rest of my life,” Roggenburk said. “I’ve had a great career here at Mags. I’ll look back on great memories of my coaches, teammates and everything. Magnificat has been such a great school for athletics and everything. I know when I get back to school Monday the school is going to be excited.”

Contact Chris Sweeney at (440) 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com. Follow him @CSweeneyCT on Twitter.


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