"I really thought we would win the state title this season because we have a very good lineup and everyone on our team put so much effort into getting here," said East's Stephanie Cherkas, who beat Middletown South's Samantha Stroebel, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, at second singles in the final. "We've been very confident all season long and, on the bus coming up here, we all felt we would win the state title."
The Cougars swept both doubles matches. Karen Meltzer and Abby Radbill defeated Kelly Dougherty and Carla Simprini, 6-2, 7-5, at first doubles, and Marie Chen and Rebecca Rosner stopped Colleen McDermott and Rebecca Mann, 6-0, 6-1, at second doubles.
"We're happy to be going to the Tournament of Champions, but we'd like to be more than just there," Ipri said. "We also like to be competitive."
Moorestown (19-3), the defending Tournament of Champions champ and the four-time defending state Group 2 champion, dropped a 5-0 decision to Manasquan (25-0) in the Group 2 final. The Quakers returned to the state title match despite losing six starters from last year's 33-0 team.
"I couldn't haven't written a better script to our season, except if we had beaten Manasquan," said Moorestown coach Bill Kingston. "We never expected to even be here, and we had Manasquan right where we wanted them, on the court."
Haddon Township (16-5) dropped a 3-2 decision to Creskill (18-3) in the Group 1 semifinals. Middle Township (18-4), lost, 4-1, to state champion Ramapo (24-1) in the Group 3 semifinals.