GRATERFORD — Mihaela Codreanu did what she had to do in order to defend her Pioneer Athletic Conference Singles title in girls tennis.
Just one year removed from winning her first crown as a freshman, Codreanu found herself up against a young freshman in Owen J. Roberts' Meredith Lee, who faced similar obstacles to the ones Codreanu confronted herself one year ago on the tennis courts.
The PAC-10's top two seeded players for the two-day tournament at Perkiomen Valley High School lived up to that billing while reaching the finals Saturday afternoon.
And it was then and there that Codreanu applied the finishing touches to her second title with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Lee, a 14-year-old ninth grader who should have people buzzing in tennis circles for the next four years around Bucktown.
What also transpired during the singles competition in 2013 was the continued domination of Methacton's top singles players. After ruling in league play while earning the PAC-10 team title, the Warriors continued to flex their muscle during the Singles event. Besides Codreanu, freshman Jordyn King and senior Lauren Simeone also reached the semifinal round for the Warriors.
King wound up falling to Lee in a dramatic three-set match in one semifinal match, and Simeone bowed to Codreanu in the other semi in a rematch of last fall's championship match.
King then placed third with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Simeone.
"I am happy for our team,' said Codreanu. "We played well. We are still happy. We took first place, third place and fourth place.'
It was an anticipated show of power by the Warriors with Lee joining the mix in another season with an accent on youth around the league.
Codreanu and Lee put on a good show in the finals for the spectators. The second set, in particular, featured numerous long volleys with both players exhibiting strong forehand and backhand shots while racing around to defend each one's half of the court.
"I think she read my game better in the second set,' said Codreanu. "She knew where she was going. She may have been a little nervous at first. In the beginning, I tried to be focused, but I was a little bit off. I got myself into it again.'
Codreanu understood the extra year of experience at competing in this tournament at Perkiomen Valley probably played a significant difference in the final analysis of the two talented PAC-10 girls tennis players.
"Now I know the courts better, the format and everything,' said Codreanu.'
Codreanu received a fist-round bye and then won a 10-0 verdict against Paige Porter in the second round. Methacton's first singles player then handled Spring-Ford's Claire Parker 6-0, 6-1 in the quarterfinals.
Lee also drew an opening-round bye before beating Sarah Bouffard 10-0 in the second round. She followed that up with a strong 6-1, 6-3 victory over Phoenixville first singles entry Lexi Crovetti.
It took 79 minutes for Codreanu to complete her victory over Lee, 38 minutes in the first set and 41 minutes in the second set.
In the first set, Lee served to start the match, but Codreanu broke service at 30-40 to seize a 1-0 lead and then held service at 40-0 to move out to a 2-0 lead. Lee cut the gap to 2-1 in game three, one that reached deuce three times. Codreanu won a deuce match of her own and then broke Lee again for a 4-1 cushion.
Already ahead 4-2, Codreanu erased an early 40-0 deficit in the pivotal game seven and fought back to win the game at third deuce on another service break. She finished out the set with a point at 40-30 despite a rare double fault that made it 30-30.
Codreanu won the regular season meeting between the two players by a 6-1, 6-1 score so Lee was satisfied to show some definite improvement since that time.
"I gave it my best,' said Lee. "The second set I tried to (put more pressure on). She is a really good player. She really keeps pressure on me. She is really good and really consistent.'
Spring-Ford's Natassja Boham won the fifth-place playoff with a 10-5 victory over Perkiomen Valley's Emily Wendel. ... Boham won by injury default over Phoenixville senior first singles player Lexi Crovetti in the consolation semifinals. Crovetti suffered an elbow injury during Friday's action that worsened with play. She decided not to return for day two of the event but may attempt a return for the PAC-10 Doubles fray. ... Perkiomen Valley coach Jennifer Dixon did another good job of running the tournament while Owen J. Roberts athletic director Dave Strock was again on hand as a PAC-10 liaison.