DUNLAP — The Notre Dame duo of Grace Couri and Sydnee O’Donnell got hot just in time in the frigid doubles final of the Class 1A Dunlap Sectional on Saturday afternoon.

After dropping the first set in the title match to the top-seeded doubles duo of Katie San Jose and Emily Yu of Dunlap, the Irish team came back to win the final two sets to win the championship with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory.

"I don’t know what it is, but we’ve got something about second sets," Couri said. "We just kind of tend to pick up the pace."

Added O’Donnell: "We just try to stay positive and be more aggressive. If something’s not working, we just try to change it for the second set."

Last season at sectionals, San Jose and Livy Sutton beat Couri and O’Donnell 6-3, 7-6 in the third-place match. But the Irish duo was ready for the rematch.

"It helps that we got to play all season together this season," Couri said. "Last season we didn’t get to."

That’s because ND coach Kathleen Temple took over the team last year and was still getting to know her players.

"I kind of discovered them midway through the year," she said. "I found out they worked well together, and now they’re sectional champs."

Top-seeded Lili Schoeck of Rock Island Alleman repeated as singles champion, beating No. 2 seed Taylor Disharoon of Dunlap 6-1, 6-1, in the finale.

"I’ve definitely put in a lot of hard work and a lot of hours into playing," Schoeck said. "So it feels really good to have a good outcome. Now I’m looking forward to state."

Schoeck, who had a top-16 finish at state last year, played in a tennis skirt and was the only player on Saturday who was not wearing any extra covering on her legs.

"It definitely feels very cold today, but I don’t like playing in pants," she said. "I can’t really move in them. So I just try not to think about it. My legs are like numb, so I can’t really feel them. You just don’t really think about the cold."

Schoeck moved well enough to win some key points against Disharoon, who also was second at sectionals last year.

"I thought we had a really good match," said Disharoon. "The score didn’t really show how close it was. But I think it was a pretty close match."

In the third-place singles match, Maria Coulter of Notre Dame beat Ericka Dawson of Macomb 6-0, 6-1, reversing last year’s results from the same match.

Dawson, who was playing in shorts, won last year’s third-place match 7-5, 7-5, at Galesburg. But Coulter was coming off a three-hour semifinal match that she lost to Disharoon 0-6, 6-3, 6-3.

"During offseason I worked a lot harder," Coulter said. "I was at the gym, lifting weights, and I was running two miles every day. That way, if I did get a situation where a match would go three hours or even two hours, I wouldn’t be tired.

"But I wanted this not only for our school, but also for our team, because we’ve been through so much. I really wanted to go out on a high note this year."

Dunlap won the team title with 24 points, six better than defending champion Alleman. Notre Dame tied Geneseo for third with 17 points.

"It’s a great ending to the season," Eagles coach Pat Gornik said. "You kind of hate to back into winning that plaque. You’d like your last match to be a win.

"But we’re fortunate to be blessed for the hard work that the girls put in. And it was the whole team, not just the three who are going to state."

Johnny Campos can be reached at 686-3214 or at jcampos@pjstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @JohnnyCampos59.