After 40 years of hosting the girls tennis state tournament, Prospect passed the baton to Buffalo Grove this year.
Things went well on Thursday's first day, but one tradition didn't stop: the weather was an issue.
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Three rounds were completed before some of the consolation action was postponed due to rain.
After a day of play, Lake Forest (22 points) leads the team competition to attempt, ahead of defending champion Hinsdale Central (19) and New Trier (18).
Area teams Barrington, Buffalo Grove, Conant, Fremd, Hoffman Estates, Prospect and Rolling Meadows each had representatives in the state tournament, which continues today with Round of 16 and quarterfinal play along with backdraw action, before concluding Saturday.
Barrington's doubles team of senior Zoe Kasiurak and freshman Michelle Linden, and Buffalo Grove's senior twins Dana and Lauren Goggin survived their first three matches to advance in the championship bracket.
"When we were playing, we said, 'We need to do better than this,' " said Lauren Goggin. "I want better than last year. We realized (in their third-round match against Highland Park) that it was getting very close. We got tired, but we'd rather play than go home."
The Goggin sisters (27-4) persevered for the best start in their four years of state tournament qualification. They topped Chicago Latin doubles team Christina Bianco/Victoria Lancaster 6-2, 6-0, Rockford Boylan's Dana Dray/Kristine Schmeling 6-3, 6-0 and Highland Park duo Rachel Goldberg/Nicole Berkman 6-3, 6-3.
"We gathered ourselves nicely," said Buffalo Grove coach Kevin Schrammel speaking of a 20-point deuce trade-off the Goggins dropped to the Highland Park team. "Once you lose deuce games, it could be deflating, but (the Goggins) won the next game. Let's continue what we were successful with at during the (regular) season.
"It was a positive day: three wins and no rain."
The Goggins take on Nazareth Academy seniors Alysa Straub/Lexi Petrovic. They were the 2011 state runners-up.
Kasiurak, a three-time state qualifier paired with freshman Linden, also had major success living up to their top-16 seed. The Fillies pair defeated Morton's Hanna Bailey/Kate Byrne 6-0, 6-0, Waubonsie Valley's Anna Reimers/Amanda Glavin 7-6 (5), 6-1, and Glenbrook South sophomore team Martina Dragoytchev 6-1, 6-1.
"At sectionals (Linden/Kasiurak) did get a chance to play together, and they're very good," said Barrington coach Tracy Waters-Miller. "(Linden/Kasiurak) didn't have the luxury to play more as a team, but you have to do what's best for the team. We want to be there till the end."
Oak Park-River Forest duo Tess Trinka/Taylor Arends are next up for Kasiurak/Linden. The Barrington duo tallied a victory against Trinka/Arends earlier this season in a weekend invitational.
Rolling Meadows twin doubles Jackie and Allie Kemph (25-9) won their first match against Andrew's Shari Coughlin/Alex Giesey 6-0, 6-0, but faltered to Highland Park's Rachel Goldberg/Nicole Berkman 6-1, 6-2. The Rolling Meadows sisters won their second match in the consolation feed-in against their Auburn opponent 6-1, 6-2. The Kemphs return to the tournament action to play Rockford Boylan's doubles team today.
Conant senior singles player Kano Jockish was defeated by New Trier sophomore Taylor Tamblyn 6-2, 6-2 in the first round, then won her second match by forfeit against her Timothy Christian opponent and faces off against an opponent from Maine South today.
"(The Kemphs) wanted to do better than last year," said Rolling Meadows coach Jim Gumz. "We lost the second match, but they felt they were better than 1-1. I'm happy with their performance and hope they can win that round of 17-32. It's not impossible. Our kids peaked at the right time, played well at conference and sectionals."
Prospect qualified both doubles teams, Katie Best/Christina Santiago and Lauren Saiki/Alexandra Gorodiski. Both teams won their first match but fell in their second matches. When the Knights were sent to the back draw, they were both defeated by their opponents to end a successful year for Prospect.
"It was a lot of ups and downs, but I made some of my best friends on the team," said Best, a two-time state qualifier. "We all got so much better from freshman year and I'm glad I got to be (at the state tournament) in my senior year."
Fremd sent senior doubles team Courtney Norenberg/Holly Kometer and singles player Amy Byrne and both won their first matches, while Hoffman junior Courtney Lang did the same. However, all three were eliminated after faltering in their second-round match and back-draw positions. Conant freshman Aya Okuda was also eliminated from state play Thursday.
"It's such a great year, one of my favorite years," said Fremd coach Lauren Hall. "Courtney and Holly jokingly asked if they could play together, and I said yes. (Norenberg/Kometer) were able to communicate and I had it in the back my head that they could qualify for state. It also helped that they have such great chemistry. I'm excited for what they have ahead of them."
"I was so impressed with how (Amy Byrne) played this year. She's one of the hardest-working players and it showed this year in her competition. This is not only motivating for her, but for the rest of the team as can learn hopefully qualify others to the state tournament next year."
The state tournament resumes this morning with front draw play at Buffalo Grove and other MSL locations 8 a.m.