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updated: 10/3/2013 10:21 PM

Kirsch, Kiven are clutch, but Lake Forest tops Stevenson

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By Marty Maciaszek
Daily Herald Correspondent

Kendall Kirsch and Alexxis Kiven do their best to not upset each other when they are playing No. 1 doubles for Stevenson's girls tennis team.

Kirsch was really determined to make sure nothing upsetting happened to Kiven in Thursday afternoon's North Suburban Lake dual showdown against defending state champion Lake Forest.

Kiven overcame illness and combined with Kirsch for a 6-2, 6-2 victory, but Lake Forest clinched the division title with a 4-2 win at the Vernon Hills Athletic Complex.

"Usually we lose focus sometimes, but today we kept our focus," Kiven said with a smile of beating Victoria Falk and Catherine Orfanos. "I didn't want my nice doubles partner to throw up on the court."

But there was no way Kiven was going to miss this match even though she had been sick for a couple of days and didn't practice Wednesday.

"Tough," Kirsch said. "She's tough."

"Me and Kendall's motto this year is to play no matter what happens," Kiven said. "Once I was in the match I wasn't really focusing on how I was feeling. I put it out of my head as well as I could."

Their only loss was early in the season to Lake Forest's Elizabeth and Christina Zordani. But the Zordani sisters helped the Scouts sweep all three singles matches.

Elizabeth, a senior, rallied to give Stevenson junior Zoe Manion her first loss of the season 0-6, 6-2, 6-3.

"The one thing about watching a player like Elizabeth," said Lake Forest coach Denise Murphy, "is just when you think you have seen everything, she bumps it up a notch and changes it a little bit."

Lake Forest also got 6-0, 6-1 wins from Christina Zordani, a sophomore, over Vinaya Rao and by Zoe Park over Rachel Mopper.

Gwenna Heidkamp and Thalia Noegroho won 6-0, 6-4 at No. 4 doubles for Stevenson but Lake Forest wrapped up the match when Brynn Carlson and Caroline Asmussen beat Bryn Rubin and Caroline Kelmis 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 at No. 3.

Stevenson's Michelle Tulchinskaya and Kaylin Dong were leading Margaux Miller and Colleen Morris 4-6, 6-2, 5-3 when their match was suspended by darkness just a few minutes before 7 p.m. It was scheduled to be completed Tuesday.

"It was competitive tennis and there was no lack of effort from either side," said Stevenson coach Tom Stanhope. "But when it counted there were instances we played a little passive. Against a team the caliber of Lake Forest they're going to take advantage of it.

"Today we were a step behind them and I told the girls, hopefully this is a little bit of a wake-up call. Hopefully this will be for the better and they'll see they're just one notch below, and it's a notch we have time to make up the next three weeks."

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