Mary Faulk made just enough shots to earn the No. 1 singles title at the Metro Conference tournament. The same was the case for Millard North in the team standings.
The Mustang senior improved her serving as the match went on to rally past Omaha Marian's Elsa Jurrens 4-6, 6-3, 10-5 in Thursday's final at Koch Tennis Center.
"That was a huge part," Faulk said of her serving. "If I can raise my serve and return well, I think I'm fine."
Millard North won both singles titles, and Marian won both doubles. But the Mustangs were runners-up in both doubles divisions to finish with 42 points. The Crusaders were next with 40.5 while Elkhorn South was third with 24.5.
Faulk defeated Jurrens twice in the regular season, including an 8-2 win last Friday. But there wasn't a lot separating them Thursday in a match filled with long baseline rallies.
Faulk led 4-3 in the first set before Jurrens won the last three games. Faulk got a break of serve in the sixth game of the second set for a 4-2 lead on her way to evening the match.
Faulk didn't drop her serve in the second set, and an effective serve helped her take a 6-2 lead in the 10-point tiebreaker. Jurrens closed to 8-5 before Faulk put the match away.
"I had a lot of nerves going into it, which I think started wearing off as I played the match," Faulk said. "But she played super well."
Riya Kannapareddy swept the No. 2 singles final. The Mustang duo should be among the top seeds in singles when the Class A state meet starts May 20.
The No. 1 doubles final went the distance as well as the top-seeded team of Sydney Schroeder and Cecilia Regan rallied past Zoey Norris and Eunice Cho 6-7 (6), 6-2, 10-5.
In the first set, Marian had a set point and led the tiebreaker 6-5. Millard North won the next three points to take the set, but Schroeder and Regan won the last five games of the second set. Then they took control midway through the third-set tiebreaker.
"I think they just needed to settle in that first set," Crusader coach Trish Faust said.
Marian doesn't have a senior on its roster, and all six Crusaders are playing postseason tennis for the first time.
"I was a little worried that their nerves would get in the way. But all four (entries) stepped up," Faust said. "I couldn't ask for anything more. So proud."
At No. 2 doubles, Marian's Ava Schroeder and Lauren Mendlick won in straight sets. They'll head to state with a 23-1 record.
Team scoring: Millard North 42, Omaha Marian 40.5, Elkhorn South 24.5, Millard West 22.5, Omaha Westside 18.5, Papillion-La Vista 16.5, Bellevue West 11, Omaha Central 9.5, Gretna 8.5, Papio South 8, Millard South 8, Omaha Bryan 3, Omaha Burke 3, Bellevue East 2, Omaha North 0.5, Omaha Northwest 0.5, Omaha South 0.5.
No. 1 singles: 1, Mary Faulk, MN, def. Elsa Jurrens, OM, 4-6, 6-3 10-5. 3, Lizzy Nelson, ES, def. Anna Schmillen, OW, 6-2, 6-3. No. 2 singles: 1, Riya Kannapareddy, MN, def. Meredith Burklund, MW, 6-0, 6-3. 3, Ellen Crotzer, OM, def. Claire Bonnett, OW, 6-4, 6-1. No. 1 doubles: 1, Sydney Schroeder-Cecilia Regan, OM, def. Zoey Norris-Eunice Cho, MN, 6-7 (6), 6-2, 10-5. 3, Julia Wegiel-Ellie McCormick, MW, def. Anna Dynek-Elli Klein, ES, 6-3, 6-3. No. 2 doubles: 1, Lauren Mendlick-Ava Schroeder, OM, def. Anna Pipinos-Ria Boob, MN, 6-3, 6-1. 3, Julia Dittrick-Lauren Hinrichs, ES, def. Natalia Vazquez-Nicole Helmberger, PL, 6-3, 6-1.