Singles and doubles players gathered at the new venue of the IHSA tennis state tournament Saturday morning to compete in the Bison Invite at Buffalo Grove High School.
After all was said and the last overhead smashes were done, Maine South walked off with the title after amassing 39 points. That gave the Hawks a 3-point victory over runner-up Libertyville. Warren was third with 34 York fourth with 32 points.
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"I think (getting first place) really helps us because we are in a tough conference," said Maine South coach Jo Ann Bondi. "We haven't won (the Bison Invite) in a number of years. We were actually missing three varsity members because of the ACT. I'm proud of the girls that stepped in to add to the foundation of their experience this year."
Buffalo Grove (5-2) was fifth and Hersey (3-3) finished seventh.
BG seniors Dana and Lauren Goggin (7-1), who finished among the Top 24 doubles teams in the state last fall, entered the Bison Invite with a postseason mindset -- and it paid huge dividends as the twins defended their invite crown.
In their final match, the Goggins battled the York duo of Gabby Riek/Ellen Barry and fell behind 3-0 in the first set. But employing their lob game, the Goggins recovered to win three straight games to tie the set. In a match seesawed back and forth, the Goggins eventually captured the first set 7-5 and never looked back, blanking the York duo 6-0 to close out the match and claim the crown.
"We always go back to the lob game," Lauren Goggin said. "Whenever we do, that's how we get through our tough matches. (The York doubles team) started getting angry and we took advantage of that and it worked out."
"It felt good," said Dana Goggin. "They placed higher in state last year, which gets us more motivated."
Bison No. 1 senior singles player Elise Mousseau fell short of a medal, taking fourth place after faltering to Libertyville No. 1 singles player Halle Roach 6-3, 6-2.
"I was really happy with the girls and their consistency in each point," said BG coach Kevin Schrammel. "The one doubles (the Goggins) went 3-0; two and three doubles (Nicole Pecoraro/Tori Rubenstein and Katie Yan/Kristen Kinast) went 2-1 so I was very pleased with the doubles. The singles had good days, but they had a tough drawing. We've got a tough match against Stevenson coming up which is just as important as (an MSL Conference match) because they play a part into sectional seedings."
Hersey No. 3 singles player Tyler Ann Valerio medaled, taking second place in her bracket. Valerio got to the No. 3 finals after duking it out and registering a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 win in a tough three-set match against Warren's Julie Zyske.
After splitting two exciting sets with Maine South sophomore Randi Wind -- including a second set tiebreaker -- Huskies No. 2 singles player Sara Magnuson fell in a tough third game and Wind won 2-6, 7-6, 6-1. However Magnuson bounced back and medaled by taking a 6-1, 6-3 third-place victory over Libertyville's Claire Eichmann.
"We're right where we're supposed to be," said Hersey coach Sharon Meintzer. "The singles are doing well, but the doubles are struggling a little bit. That is OK, though, because the moments of glory are there as we are increasing our experience.
"(Sara) Magnuson has more stamina than I've ever seen out of her. (Magnuson) is a sponge, and if she makes a mistake, she'll fix it the next time. She's mentally tough and fun to coach. I'm pleased with the performance. I ask (the Huskies) after matches 'What did you do well from your match?' We have a cohesive groupł and we are first place in that department."
In Nos. 1 and 2 singles, Warren's Annie Rivera and Carly Kveton, respectively, took first-place honors in their brackets.
Maine South No. 3 sophomore singles player Nicole Dinkel and the No. 3 doubles team of Marisa and Adrianna Sclafani both won first place in their brackets.
"There was no stress, because I tried my best," Dinkel said. "I played at three singles last year. I think helped us get first so I made (Maine South) proud. It gives us confidence and hopefully we can keep getting better as we get towards the end of the season."
The No. 2 Libertyville doubles team of Maddie Wagner/Aleksandra Grabowski and York's No. 4 doubles team of Amarelis Morales/Caroline Elsey also brought home first-place medals.