Stagg qualified the most athletes for last week’s state tennis tournament, but it was District 230 sister school Sandburg that claimed the only first-round success.
The Lady Eagles’ doubles tandem of Priya Sharma-Allia Abunaim triumphed in their opening match last Friday, as they defeated Lincoln-Way East’s Stefanie Hunniford-Jacqui Michuda 6-4, 6-2. That was to be the extent of their success, though, as Lyons Township’s Jillian Kaehler-Maggie Schwartz (6-4, 6-2) and Deerfield’s Jessie Arenson-Ariel Lozovsky (6-0, 6-0) administered setbacks to Sharma-Abunaim in the second round of the championship and consolation brackets, respectively.
Sandburg’s other state entry, singles player Molly Traverso, fell in succession to St. Ignatius’ Carla O’Bryne (6-3, 6-2) and Oak Park-River Forest’s Jasmine Owens (6-3, 6-2).
Representing Stagg were singles players Nicole Pamphilis and Jillian Atkenson, and the doubles pair of Leeza Bodnar-Silvia Kulbokas.
After suffering an opening 6-2, 6-2 loss to Carmel’s Christina Rao, Pamphilis roared back to claim a pair of consolation victories. She beat Triad’s Kylie McCarthy (6-3, 7-6 (2)) and Hersey’s Ana Karpetiani (5-7, 6-3, 6-3) before running afoul of Geneseo’s Michelle Legatzke (6-1, 6-3) in the third consolation round.
Atkenson scored one consolation-bracket victory, 6-3, 6-2 over Immaculate Conception’s Kelley Hodyl, to salvage her appearance at state. Atkenson suffered defeats against Mount Carmel’s Tyra Buss (6-0, 6-0) and University High’s Dhanya Asokumar (6-1, 6-2) in her two other matches.
Bodnar-Kulbokas matched Pamphilis by succeeding twice after falling to a first-round loss. Following a 6-2, 6-2 shortcoming versus Edwardsville’s Morgan Colbert-Maddie Lombardi, Bodnar-Kulbokas rallied to take down Elgin’s Kayla Schwan-Emma May (6-0, 6-7 (3), 6-2) and East Peoria’s Kylie Giebelhausen-Sarah Kurth (6-3, 6-3) in consecutive encounters.
The Stagg duo’s stay at state ended in their fourth match, which went the way of Rockford Guilford’s Lilly Endsley-Linnea Endsley by a 6-0, 6-2 count.
Also advancing to state was Chicago Christian’s doubles team of Grace Furlong-Raquel Hamstra. The pair dropped both state matches in which they competed, 6-2, 6-1 to Rolling Meadows’ Allie Kemph-Jackie Kemph and 6-2, 6-2 to Teutopolis’ Elena Breer-Allison Vogt.
BOYS’ CROSS COUNTRY
With senior Will Becker clocking a winning time of 15 minutes, 16.19 seconds, Sandburg was able to also claim a team title at last Saturday’s nine-school Class 3A Marist Regional at Midlothian Meadows.
Despite fielding an almost completely different lineup from the one that secured a SouthWest Suburban Conference Blue championship for them the week before, the Eagles managed to place all seven of their runners among the top 13 finishers. Their five scorers were bunched within the first seven.
Following Becker down the chute were Dan Laskero (third in 15:26.62), Martin Skucas (fifth, 15:41.77), Justin Adams (sixth, 15:43.05) and Matt Benz-Weeden (seventh, 15:45.37).
While Shepard couldn’t catch Sandburg at Midlothian Meadows, the Astros still did well enough to advance as a team to this weekend’s Hinsdale Central Sectional. Leading the way for Shepard was Josh Meier, who took second overall with a time of 15:18.26 for three miles.
Also moving on to Hinsdale Central will be Stagg, which placed sixth at the Marist Regional.
GIRLS’ CROSS COUNTRY
Sandburg couldn’t quite equal the showing delivered by the Eagles boys’ team, but the girls did finish just two points behind meet-champion Marist at the latter’s own Class 3A regional on Saturday.
Four Lady Eagles wound up in the top 10, including Casey Jensen (third in 18:27.42), Grace Foley (fourth, 18:31.12), Meghan Mokate (fifth, 18:38.79) and Annie Lebert (eighth, 18:58.09).
Both Shepard (109 points) and Stagg (176) advanced to the Hinsdale Central Sectional after placing fourth and sixth, respectively, at the Marist Regional.
Behind Carly VandeKamp’s team-best time of 20:40, Chicago Christian took fifth place at Saturday’s Class 1A Bishop McNamara Regional.
Sandburg captured the Class 3A Lincoln-Way North Regional championship last Friday with a 1-0 decision over Reavis.
The winning marker was delivered in a shootout by Eagles goalie Alan Garcia in the sixth round, which lifted his team to a 5-4 shootout victory. Garcia helped preserve the win by registering two saves during the shootout.
Sandburg (15-6) advanced to this past Tuesday’s Andrew Sectional semifinals. To reach the regional championship, the Eagles defeated Brother Rice 2-1 last Tuesday.
Sandburg trailed the Crusaders 1-0 with less than four minutes to go when Thomas Nie was able to break through with a goal to force overtime. Minutes later, he found the back of the net again, which handed the Eagles the triumph.
Chicago Christian was eliminated from the state tournament last Tuesday when it dropped a 2-0 verdict to Montini in a Class 1A sectional semifinal in Palos Heights.
Montini managed to slow down a high-powered Knights offense led by Getenet Timmermans, who finished his Christian career with a school-record 94 goals. Knights keeper Caleb De Ruiter snagged three saves in the losing effort.
Shepard was also eliminated from the postseason last week, as Lockport blanked it 2-0 on Wednesday in the Class 3A Bolingbrook Regional semifinals.
The Astros, who finished the season at 10-8-1, managed only nine shots on goal against the Porters.
Stagg’s 2013 season came to close in its own Class 3A regional last Tuesday, as it suffered a 2-0 loss to TF United. The Chargers closed with an 11-6 ledger.
Shepard split a pair of meets last week as it defeated Crete-Monee 133-40 on Tuesday and then came up three points shy against Lemont (91-88) on Thursday in an SSC crossover.
Annie Rangel touched out first in both the 100-yard freestyle (1:02.30) and 200-individual medley (2:34.05) to aid the Lady Astros in their conquest of the Lady Warriors. Mary Lippert (50-free in 27.63), Christina Calderon (diving) and Grace Spindler (500-free, 6:20.27) also notched wins for Shepard.
Lippert was tops in the 50- and 100-frees (27.50 and 1:00.49, respectively) versus the Lady Indians, although she shared first with Rangel in the latter event. Rangel set the pace in the 200-free (2:16.73) and Calderon was again the highest point producer in diving.