WEBSTER GROVES — Alek Blagojevic is back at the top of the girls singles lineup for Oakville High's tennis team.
And the Tigers junior definitely was tops in the Webster Quad, which concluded Wednesday at Memorial Park.
Blagojevic played No. 1 singles for the Tigers as a freshman but finished her sophomore season at No. 2 behind freshman Bella Hong.
Hong transferred to St. Joseph's Academy, moving Blagojevic back to the top spot.
"I love playing at No. 1," the 6-foot-1 Blagojevic said. "The competition is obviously better and I know most of the girls who I will be playing at No. 1. I actually practice with a couple of them."
Blagojevic certainly looked the part of a No. 1 player as she defeated Callie Hepfinger of Webster Groves 8-0 in the singles final at No. 1.
Despite the decisive score, Blagojevic felt she got off to a sluggish start.
"It was rough at the beginning," she said. "I wasn't happy with my serves and groundstrokes and actually fell behind 0-40 in a couple of games. I was happy after I warmed up after the first two or three games."
It didn't take long to warm up on a blistering hot day and Blagojevic made quick work of her opponent.
She was the first player off of the seven courts. There were four singles and three singles flights.
"It was so hot, especially at the beginning," Blagojevic said. "I wanted to get off the court as quickly as possible. I was able to cut down on my unforced errors and played more consistently. I was able to move my opponent from corner to corner."
Blagojevic said her ultimate goal is to make it to the state tournament. She fell one match short last year, losing to Mehlville standout Alyson Piskulic in the sectional round.
Piskulic has graduated, as has Summit standout Ella Kinder. The door is open for Blagojevic if she can play the way she did Wednesday.
Blagojevic's win helped the Tigers to the team title at Webster.
Oakville had finalists in six of the seven flights, winning half of them Wednesday.
Senior Callie Balin earned a hard-fought 8-7 win over Molly Stevison of Webster Groves in the championship match at No. 2 singles. Balin seemed in control with a 7-2 lead. But Stevison had a tremendous comeback, winning the next five games to force a tiebreaker.
Stevison had the momentum going into the tiebreaker, but Balin regained control winning the first five points, eventually winning the tiebreaker 7-2.
"Early on in the match I was moving her around," Balin said. "Her coach talked to her and she began moving me around. You never know what is going to happen in tennis, and I told myself before the tiebreaker to just keep the ball in."
Oakville also won at No. 1 doubles as Megan Blanchard and Nina Mruckovic defeated Maddie Riek and Gabbi Kittinger of Mehlville 8-4.
"It has been a process with this team this season," Oakville coach Bill Ebert said. "We had a tough beginning of the season, playing teams like Ladue and Lindbergh. This is a nice tournament to see where you are at. I think we are at a point where the girls are getting more confidence although we still need more."
Defending champion Nerinx Hall won the other two doubles flights. Sydnee Haymore and Ellie McGrath won at No. 2 doubles and Lauren Bieg and Elora Reis won at No. 3 doubles.
Webster Groves won two flights of singles. Gwen Acar won at No. 3 while Audrey Swaine won at No. 4.