Identical twins Dana and Lauren Goggin have the art of lobbing tennis balls down.
Cotton balls land harder.
"They have the softest and quickest hands of anyone our team, Buffalo Grove coach Kevin Schrammel said of his top doubles team. "We don't even practice lobs.
The Goggins lobbed so well during the Stevenson sectional at the Vernon Hills Athletic Complex on Saturday that the No. 4 seed stunned Deerfield's top-seeded doubles team of Meghan Frankel and Raquel Boton in the semifinals, 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4).
One lob shot was executed so perfectly that it landed deep and bounced high up on the fence, before it could be returned.
"Deerfield killed them the first set and I was like, 'OK, Deerfield might actually win,' Stevenson doubles player Gabby Demchenko said. "But once I saw (the Goggins) starting to lob, I was like, '(Deerfield) is in trouble.
Demchenko knows. Last year at the Palatine sectional, Gemchenko and teammate Lindsey Hahn lost in a quarterfinal doubles match to the Goggins, who were freshmen.
The Goggin twins lob so well that during their finals match Saturday against Demchenko and Danielle Vasiliev the Stevenson partners actually had time for a conversation while the ball was still in the air.
Demchenko: "Yes, mine.
"We were laughing about it, Demchenko said. "It was fun.
The aggressive play of Demchenko and Vasiliev finally won out, as the Patriots pair prevailed 2-6, 6-1, 6-0. Frankel and Boton settled for third place by defeating teammates Jenna Borzak and Jorie Fox 6-4, 6-4. Deerfield sophomore Alexis Casati captured the singles championship with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Buffalo Grove senior Nell Boyd, as the Warriors took the sectional championship with 29 points.
Besides Demchenko/Vasiliev, runner-up Stevenson (25 points) also qualified for state freshman Alexxis Kiven, who took third with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Deerfield sophomore Mindy Borovsky.
Demchenko, a sophomore, and Vasiliev, a freshman, were relieved to finally put away Buffalo Grove's Goggin twins.
"Patience is a virtue, Vasiliev said.
"Patience brings happiness, Demchenko added.
After one point during the third set, with frustration mounting, Vasiliev said to Demchenko, "It's going to take a thousand shots. Demchenko retorted, "I think it already has.
The Goggins simply played the game they had to play to win. The sophomores say they don't always lob. They use the strategy, Dana Goggin said, "only for the harder opponents, like Frankel/Boton and Demchenko/Vasiliev.
"It's more like a second defense, Lauren Goggin said.
Following the semifinal upset of Deerfield's top duo, the Goggins' teammates joined hands, raised them high and created a tunnel for them as they exited the court. The shocking win avenged a pair of convincing, regular-season losses to Frankel/Boton.
"We didn't expect (to win), Lauren Goggin said. "We just lobbed the whole game because we knew it was going to be hard. That's about all we did.
"They started making a lot of errors (in the second set), Deerfield coach Rich Koukol said of Frankel and Boton. "A lot of unforced errors really hurt them.
Demchenko and Vasiliev made their share of mistakes, too, in their first set against the Goggins. The Bison pair frustrated the two Patriots, Vasiliev said.
At the start of the season, Demchenko and Vasiliev had beaten the Goggins in straight sets.
"They got better, Vasiliev said.
"They improved their consistency, Demchenko added.
As Saturday's match progressed, Demchenko and Vasiliev put more and more shots away and watched more and more lobs miss their mark.
"We did well the first set, Dana Goggin said. "But eventually we got tired, I think. That was probably the main thing, from playing all day.
In the end, patient Patriots prevailed.
"I was going back and forth, Demchenko said. "It was a good workout, though.