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updated: 9/22/2012 10:05 PM

Stevenson endures in Prospect's Fall Classic

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By Jonathon Jones
Daily Herald correspondent

It took 9 hours to complete the 16-team Prospect Fall Classic and when it was over on Saturday, Stevenson had taken home the championship with 71 points.

New Trier was second with 64 points and Glenbrook North (50) third.

"Playing Deerfield, New Trier, Oak Park-River-Forest, Glenbrook North and a slew of other schools is a good measuring stick for us," said Stevenson coach Tom Stanhope. "This win just shows the depth of our team because we have a lot of people out with injuries.

"We've had junior varsity players step up and they are doing what we need. We take a lot of pride in our team and everyone is carrying everyone's weight."

Area teams Prospect (7th place), Buffalo Grove (8th), Conant (11th), St. Viator (13th), Hersey (12th) and Rolling Meadows (14th) also competed in the windy marathon.

The flights were hosted at Prospect, Buffalo Grove, Rolling Meadows and Hersey high schools.

Prospect's No. 2 doubles tandem of junior Lauren Saiki and Alexandra Gorodiski (5-3 in dual matches) was the only area team to make the semifinals.

Saiki and Gorodiski, in their first year playing as a duo, defeated Hersey's No. 2 doubles team 6-4, 6-4 and Loyola's No. 2 duet 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.

They fell in the semifinals to Stevenson 6-1, 6-3 and again to New Trier for fourth place.

Prospect's No. 4 tandem of Alex Wilson/Tori Bruno won a tough 3-6, 6-4, 10-7 match in its first round against Deerfield but fell to Oak Park-River Forest in the quarterfinals.

"I personally think we go out and just have fun," Gorodiski said. "Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose, but otherwise we have fun. The caliber is up in a tournament like this and we felt good to be up with (the field of teams).

"(Saiki and I) work well together and play the same kind of game. She is a great partner to have."

Four of the seven spots for Buffalo Grove won first-round matches, including the No. 1 doubles team of Dana and Lauren Goggin and No. 2 singles player Anna Klipstein. However, all four fell in the second round.

The Goggin twins and Buffalo Grove No. 2 doubles team of Tori Rubenstein/Nicole Pecoraro tied for fifth after defeating its adversaries in the third round (Prospect and Moline, respectively).

"We were up and down all day," said Buffalo Grove coach Kevin Schrammel. "The wind was tough, but we're good at being strategic when the weather is bad and using it to our advantage. It's been a positive season."

Buffalo Grove takes on Wheeling on Monday; a win against Wheeling would clinch first place in the MSL East for the Bison.

Hersey had No. 2 singles player Sara Magnuson and its No. 4 doubles team Emma Cooke/Meredith Ward make it to the quarterfinals.

Magnuson defeated her Libertyville opponent 6-1, 6-2, before falling in the next round to Hannah Post 6-3, 6-1.

Magnuson, who tied for fifth place, registered a win in her last match over Buffalo Grove's Klipstein 4-6, 6-0, 10-4.

Cook and Ward defeated their Moline opponent 6-4, 3-6, 10-8 and ultimately tied for fifth after gaining a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Buffalo Grove.

"It's a rough tournament," said Hersey coach Sharon Meintzer. "We had no expectations going in but to have fun and play your best. Tennis is a lot like academics -- come in early and get some help like you do with tutor.

"(Magnuson) gave great team advice for everybody saying 'Let this be a warm-up for conference and sectionals. Let's give it the best you can.'"

St. Viator No. 1 singles player Megan Balas, a sophomore, advanced to the quarterfinals after defeating Rolling Meadows' top singles player 6-0, 6-0.

Balas (five dual match wins) finished tied for seventh.

"We're in a tough conference and we expect tough competition," Balas said. "Do your best and play 100 percent. It was a boost of confidence to win that first match today but I have to stay focused because there is a lot of playing left."

Conant's No. 3 doubles tandem Julia Gralczyk and abika Haq (seniors) finished tied for fifth place after defeating Peoria Richwood's No. 3 doubles team 7-5, 6-2 and Prospect's No. 4 doubles team 6-3, 6-4.

Hersey, Conant, Rolling Meadows, Buffalo Grove and Prospect will meet the rest of the MSL at the conference tournament Oct. 4 at Prospect.

"We came in and played our first four of seven matches against Oak Park-River Forest," said Rolling Meadows coach Jim Gumz. "We had respectable scores throughout. We had opportunities but need to learn how to close out the close matches.

"We beat Lake Zurich 4-3 but lost to Hersey 3-4, and Hersey lost to Lake Zurich 4-3. There is a lot of parity in our league. It'll be an interesting conference match where anyone can make a huge difference."

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