FARMINGTON – Lucy Pace patiently waited for her opportunity to compete in the most prestigious bracket at the MAAA girls tennis tournament.
After looking at times like the best player in the conference last season, the North County senior left no room for debate on Wednesday while achieving a personal milestone.
Pace completed four varsity seasons without dropping a singles or doubles match at the annual event, and was among seven individual bracket champions for the Lady Raiders.
Two separate rain delays at Engler Park only prolonged the inevitable, as North County captured 23 of a possible 27 points to follow its regular-season title with another plaque.
Alli Scott, Kinley Tracy and Chloe Roach also controlled their respective brackets after all three pairings from North County comprised an impressive doubles sweep.
Fredericktown placed runner-up among the five participating schools with 10 points, and featured the No. 4 singles champion as Nina Lewis won the last match to conclude under the lights.
Sophomore Dagny McCarver, a recent addition to the varsity ranks, earned the No. 6 singles crown for Farmington, which tied Potosi for third place with eight points.
Pace played No. 5 singles as a freshman, and has climbed steadily ever since. All four of her matches on Wednesday, including both with doubles partner Camille Skaggs, ended in clean 8-0 shutouts.
Potosi junior Lani Elder earned the right to meet Pace in the featured final after beating higher-seeded Arcadia Valley standout Madeline Coles 8-3 in the semifinal round.
Pace increased a 3-0 lead by ripping baseline winners on four consecutive serve returns. She nearly ceded that break during the ensuing game.
Elder earned two break points, but Pace saved the first with a well-placed drop shot on the run. Pace then closed the victory after Elder resisted multiple match points in a long eighth game.
Some of the most entertaining rallies of the entire tournament occurred in the No. 2 final between Alli Scott and Arcadia Valley senior Lily Pursley.
Both players lobbed and sliced while trying to move each other from side to side, but Scott prevailed 8-3 after two games on the final changeover consumed more than 15 minutes.
Tracy kept the momentum favoring North County by getting past Fredericktown junior Clara Basden 8-3 in No. 3 singles after being sternly tested in an 8-6 semifinal by Macie Coleman of Farmington.
Roach was seeded third in her singles group, but upended Meleah Lara of AV 8-3 before defeating final opponent Haley Tucker of Fredericktown by the same margin.
Tucker pulled a pair of grueling upsets to reach the championship round. She clipped Mallory Felker of Farmington 9-7, and worked overtime again to overtake Hannah Barron of Potosi in a tiebreaker.
North County also went 2-0 in third-place matches as Skaggs edged Arcadia Valley sophomore Reese Brogan 8-5 and Claire Scott ousted Aubree Wilson of Potosi 8-1.
The Lady Raiders punctuated their doubles success when the combinations of Alli Scott with Tracy and Roach with Claire Scott won finals by identical 8-2 scores.
A majority of first-round singles contests wrapped up before a more persistent rain shower halted the action for one hour and 45 minutes. Coaches and players worked to disperse the standing water.
Lewis highlighted her first-place result by taking out three higher seeds. Once returning from a long idle period, she rallied past Skaggs 9-7 before turning aside Potosi senior Kensington Davies 8-4.
Fredericktown was bolstered by three second-place showings in singles play from Basden, Tucker and junior Becca Bell, who challenged McCarver to the finish.
McCarver regrouped from a previous service break to jump ahead 40-0 in the final game, and topped Bell 8-6 when a forehand return was swallowed by the net.
Bell joined Ella Clauser for an 8-4 victory in their third-place doubles match against Farmington duo Kalei Davis and Mallory Felker.
Four separate second-place medals led Potosi. as its first and third pairings of Elder with Tori Krebs and Barron with Wilson advanced to face North County in finals.
Farmington salvaged a positive note by going 5-1 in third-place matches. Eva Guzman completed a massive comeback against Coles to prevail 9-7 after capturing the last seven games in succession.
Addison Brenneke continued a superb season for the Knights after starting the season with a No. 5 singles ranking. She defeated Dani West of Fredericktown 8-2 for third in the No. 2 bracket.
Coleman added another team point with an 8-4 triumph over Lawson after working alongside Guzman for third place. Brenneke and doubles partner Peyton Cleve also closed with a victory.
Arcadia Valley was powered by Pursley, who qualified for two title matches. Brogan and Pursley advanced past the semifinals via tiebreaker against Davies and Lawson.
Davies avenged that loss to Brogan by storming back from 7-2 down to take their singles clash 9-7.
Lara grabbed a third-place win for the Lady Tigers after sunset.
S1: Lucy Pace (NC) def. Lani Elder (P), 8-0
S2: Alli Scott (NC) def. Lily Pursley (AV), 8-3
S3: Kinley Tracy (NC) def. Clara Basden (FR), 8-3
S4: Nina Lewis (FR) def. Kensington Davies (P), 8-4
S5: Chloe Roach (NC) def. Haley Tucker (FR), 8-3
S6: Dagny McCarver (FA) def. Becca Bell (FR), 8-6
D1: Pace/Skaggs (NC) def. Elder/Krebs (P), 8-0
D2: A Scott/Tracy (NC) def. Pursley/Brogan (AV), 8-2
D3: Roach/C Scott (NC) def. Barron/Wilson (P), 8-2
S1: Eva Guzman (FA) def. Madeline Coles (AV), 9-7
S2: Addison Brenneke (FA) def. Dani West (FR), 8-2
S3: Macie Coleman (FA) def. Gracie Lawson (P), 8-4
S4: Camille Skaggs (NC) def. Reese Brogan (AV), 8-5
S5: Meleah Lara (AV) def. Hannah Barron (P), 8-2
S6: Claire Scott (NC) def. Aubree Wilson (P), 8-1
D1: Guzman/Coleman (FA) def. Coles/Dugger (AV), 8-5
D2: Brenneke/Cleve (FA) def. Lawson/Davies (P), 8-3
D3: Bell/Clauser (FR) def. Davis/Felker (FA), 8-4
S1: Lucy Pace (NC) def. Eva Guzman (FA), 8-0
S1: Lani Elder (P) def. Madeline Coles (AV), 8-3
S2: Alli Scott (NC) def. Addison Brenneke (FA), 8-1
S2: Lily Pursley (AV) def. Dani West (FR), 8-5
S3: Kinley Tracy (NC) def. Macie Coleman (FA), 8-6
S3: Clara Basden (FR) def. Gracie Lawson (P), 8-2
S4: Nina Lewis (FR) def. Camille Skaggs (NC), 9-7
S4: Kensington Davies (P) def. Reese Brogan (AV), 9-7
S5: Haley Tucker (FR) def. Hannah Barron (P), 9-8 (3)
S5: Chloe Roach (NC) def. Meleah Lara (AV), 8-3
S6: Dagny McCarver (FA) def. Claire Scott (NC), 8-2
S6: Becca Bell (FR) def. Aubree Wilson (P), 8-4
D1: Pace/Skaggs (NC) def. Guzman/Coleman (FA), 8-0
D1: Elder/Krebs (P) def. Coles/Dugger (AV), 8-3
D2: A Scott/Tracy (NC) def. Brenneke/Cleve (FA), 8-2
D2: Pursley/Brogan (AV) def. Lawson/Davies (P), 9-8 (3)
D3: Roach/C Scott (NC) def. Davis/Felker (FA), 8-6
D3: Barron/Wilson (P) def. Bell/Clauser (FR), 8-2
S1: Eva Guzman (FA) def. Emiley Geen (FR), 8-2
S2: Addison Brenneke (FA) def. Tori Krebs, 8-1
S3: Macie Coleman (FA) def. Abaigael Dugger, 8-0
S4: Nina Lewis (FR) def. Kalei Davis (FA), 8-6
S5: Haley Tucker (FR) def. Mallory Felker (FA), 9-7
S6: Dagny McCarver (FA) def. Meadow Boushey (AV), 8-1
D1: Guzman/Coleman (FA) def. Geen/Basden (FR), 8-5
D2: Brenneke/Cleve (FA) def. Lewis/Tucker (FR), 8-4
D3: Davis/Felker (FA) def. Lara/Boushey (AV), 8-5