Molly Hennessy has been to the girls state tennis tournament before. It isn't getting old.
"It gets better each year, no doubt," the Glenbard West senior said of her fourth trip to state. "Every year has been different with the weather and everything. Every year we've been able to play higher than the last year, so hopefully we can do it again."
Hennessy and doubles partner Ali Bush, a 9-16 seed, won all three of their matches Thursday at Buffalo Grove, running their season record to 31-4 and advancing to Friday's fourth round.
They weren't the only DuPage County athletes to advance despite 54-degree temperatures and a tough wind that caused at least a couple of girls to swing and miss.
Benet doubles players Mary Beth King and Daniella Reyes moved through, as did Naperville North's Kamile Stadalnankait and Abbie Boswell, Hinsdale South's Emma Adcock and Andrea Wakim, and Marika Cusick and Caroline Lorenzini of Hinsdale Central.
In the singles bracket, Wheaton Warrenville South junior Keisha Clousing, Naperville Central freshman Tiffany Chen and Hinsdale Central's Alex Solovyev each were undefeated on the day.
Hinsdale Central finished the day with 19 team points, in second place, 3 points behind Lake Forest. York has 12, Glenbard West 11, Benet and Naperville Central 10 and Naperville North has 9.
Hennessy and Bush finished their day with a 6-0, 6-3 victory over New Trier's Lily Schroeder and Alex Wolkoff, using their athleticism to keep rallies alive and win points.
"It was just all adrenaline. We had to let all of our hard work from the year out on the court," said Bush, a sophomore making her second trip to state. "We gave every point all we had."
"A lot of our team was there watching us, and that was good to hear them behind us," Hennessy added. "We had a good first set against them and we just were focusing on moving our feet a lot. In the second set they came back strong, but we were able to work on our consistency and stepping it up."
Hennessy and Bush are in their first season as a doubles team, but they developed good rapport quickly.
"We spend a lot of time together," Bush said. "We've gotten really close so our chemistry is really built up."
Wheaton Academy's doubles team of juniors Lexi Welton and Betsy Jones lost to Schroeder and Wolkoff in the second round at Buffalo Grove, but they won their consolation-bracket match 6-2, 6-0 over Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin's Isabel Cross and Gina Santarelli.
"Things are going really well," said Welton, making her third trip to state. "We won two matches, so that's always an accomplishment. Our second match was tough, but we're ready to play now."
"We pulled through it," added Jones, in her first state appearance. "The third one we were on our game. We played better."