Written by Anthony Nasella
By winning its first three dual matches of the season and then finishing as runner-up at Saturday’s Ottawa Invitational, Sandburg’s girls’ tennis team has thrilled coach Brian Ostrander.
The strong start was not completely unexpected, seeing as how the Lady Eagles field a deep and talented team. However, that didn’t diminish the impressive nature of Sandburg’s victories over Chicago Christian (5-0), University High (4-2) and Lincoln-Way North (7-0) during a three-day span last week.
At Ottawa, the Lady Eagles wound up second by only one point.
“We played our first three matches last week and won all three, which is awesome,” Ostrander said. “It was a great start, and then we competed very well at Ottawa. A couple [doubles] matches didn’t go our way, but it was still a great effort and outing for the girls.”
Laying the groundwork for the shutout of Christian were singles players Molly Treverso and Natalie Schultz, plus the doubles pairs of Allia Obunaim-Priya Sharma, Nisha Riley-Jackie Makdah and Lauren Mitchell-Maddie Sheehan.
Sandburg will try to keep things rolling today against a highly regarded Homewood-Flossmoor squad.
“Homewood-Flossmoor is the best team in this area,” Ostrander said. “And while we don’t have state-ranked players like they do, we do have a deep roster that I believe is capable of competing with them. It will be a good test to see where we are.
“We know we have a lot of work to do as a team, and we know that our players have to improve in order to succeed at the state level. But the potential is there.”
Leading the way for Sandburg this year is the senior trio of team captain Treverso, Mitchell and Sheehan. Treverso went 4-2 last week, and Ostrander said he was especially pleased with Mitchell’s and Sheehan’s performance as a doubles team at Ottawa.
“They won the third-doubles championship, and that was a big highlight,” he said. “They are counted on as leaders, and them winning at Ottawa was a big step in the senior leadership that we are counting on them to provide.
“Molly is the player who drives our team. Her losses were a three-set loss and a two-set loss in the finals of Ottawa tournament. She beat the players she was supposed to beat and lost to the players she was supposed to lose to — that’s all we can expect from her.”
Shultz lost just one match at Ottawa, as did the doubles duo of Obunaim-Sharma. The latter were triumphant in each dual affair, and they rebounded from a first-match setback in the invitational to win twice more.
Riely-Makdah dropped a tiebreaker in the semifinal round at Ottawa.
“We’re relying on our depth to take us far,” Ostrander said. “I like what we’ve done so far.”
Stagg was perfect last week, as it scored victories over Mother McAuley (4-1 on Tuesday), Shepard (5-0 on Wednesday) and Lincoln-Way East (4-3 on Thursday).
Nicole Pamphilis (No. 1) and Jillian Atkenson (No. 2) notched singles wins against the Mighty Macs, while Rhonda Habbal (No. 2 singles) was a standout opposite the Lady Astros.
In addition to its defeat against Stagg, Shepard came up short versus Hillcrest (3-2) and Lemont (4-1) last week in a pair of South Suburban Conference crossover matches.
Sandburg (3-2) won twice in three outings last week at the Best of the West Tournament in Naperville.
The Eagles bagged 1-0 triumphs over both Waubonsie Valley and Fremd, while Naperville Central blanked Sandburg 2-0. Nick Atkinson’s goal was the difference for the Eagles in the Waubonsie match, while Seamus Flannagan tallied the lone marker opposite Fremd.
Abe Ziad earned an assist on Flannagan’s goal. Sandburg netminder Scott Swiontek’s two whitewashes gave him three for the season.
Shepard (1-2-1) picked up its first win of the season with a 5-0 decision over St. Rita in last Tuesday’s consolation match at the Windy City Ram Classic.
Ivan Magana’s hat trick keyed the Astros’ attack.
Stagg improved to 2-0 on the season with a 4-2 victory over St. Laurence last Thursday. Beto Torres had a goal and three assists to lead the Chargers in Palos Hills.
Chicago Christian upped its ledger to 3-1-2 by beating Evergreen Park 5-1 last Thursday in Palos Heights behind a hat trick and one assist from Getenet Timmermans.
After dropping a 150-180 decision to Lemont last Tuesday at Cog Hill No. 1, Shepard bounced back to register South Suburban Conference Red wins over Eisenhower (187-202) and Oak Lawn (161-182) on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
Kyle Longfield was the Astros’ low scorer versus the Cardinals as he carded a 40, but that left him two strokes shy of medalist Vinny Curta of Eisenhower. Shane Wright earned medalist honors against the Spartans by firing a nine-hole score of 37.
Medalist Blaine Wright (38) led Chicago Christian in last Wednesday’s Suburban Christian Conference meeting with Montini at Willowcrest Golf Club in Oak Brook, but the Broncos grabbed the team win by four shots, 160-164.
Stagg fell short in two SouthWest Suburban Conference crossover matches last week, as Andrew (164-176) and Lincoln-Way Central (158-168) both got the better of the Chargers. The Thunderbolts topped Stagg at Silver Lake on Tuesday, while the Knights prevailed on Thursday.
Nick Adduce captured medalist honors for Sandburg with a 36 in last Thursday’s 155-161 victory over Brother Rice, then teamed with the other Eagles to defeat Lincoln-Way East at Saturday’s Coed High School Golf Classic and register a second-place overall finish.
Sandburg shot a 308 at Green Gardens in Frankfort on Saturday, combining with the Lady Eagles for an overall score of 567. Michael Mishek and Adduce swept the top spots for Sandburg, the former doing so after overcoming a double-bogey opening hole.
Using five birdies to get back on track for the rest of the day, Mishek finished with a 1-over-par 73. Adduce was one stroke behind him at 74.
Sandburg rolled in its two SWSC crossover meets last week, then after defeating Bradley-Bourbonnais (165-225 on Wednesday) and Lincoln-Way North (159-213 on Thursday) the Lady Eagles joined their male counterparts at Saturday’s Coed High School Golf Classic.
Frankie Saban was Sandburg’s ringleader as her nine-hole scores of 38 and 36 made her the medalist in both dual events. She then posted a seventh-place individual finish on Saturday.
Stagg came up short against both Lincoln-Way Central (194-226) and Oak Forest (217-226) last week.
GIRLS’ CROSS COUNTRY
At last Tuesday’s Shepard Triangular, the host Lady Astros boasted the individual champion as Alondra Delfin completed her three-mile race at Conkey Woods in 21 minutes, 20 seconds.
Shepard, however, had to settle for second place as a team. Argo claimed the title with 24 points, while the Lady Astros accrued 31. TF South was third with 74.
Adrienne DiFoggio won the 200-yard individual medley (2:18.89) and 500-freestyle (5:23.32), as Stagg defeated Hinsdale South 107-78 last Tuesday.