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updated: 10/25/2013 10:10 PM

Linden advances to consolation semis

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By Jonathan Jones
Daily Herald Correspondent

Barrington's Michelle Linden has advanced to the final day of the girls tennis season.

The sophomore singles standout dropped her opening match of the day, in the fourth round of championship bracket play in Friday's state tournament, as Alex Chatt of Lyons prevailed 6-1, 6-1.

But Linden, the Mid-Suburban League singles champion, stayed alive by winning twice in the singles backdraw. She topped Nicole Tyulpa (Rock Island) 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the sixth round, and Kayleigh Thurwalker of Belleville West 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 in the seventh.

Next up for Linden in the consolation semis is Christina Zordani of Lake Forest.

"(Friday) morning, I knew Alex was good," Linden said. "I gave it my best and I wanted to redeem myself and do better. I definitely want to make the round of 16. I was hoping to get at least one match tomorrow."

"We need points, and (Linden) is just bouncing back for the team," said Barrington coach Tracy Waters-Miller. "She's a good player and she doesn't give up. She has a lot of maturity for a sophomore."

Barrington's Addie Hirsch/Anna Donoghue were eliminated from the tournament after they dropped their match to Naperville North's Julia Li/Jessica Hu.

New Trier holds a slim lead with 37 points in the team race entering Saturday's action. Close behind are Lake Forest (35), Hinsdale Central (33) and Stevenson (32).

Chatt will meet Hinsdale Central's Isabelle Lorenzini in one championship singles semifinal, and New Trier's Carol Finke meets Naperville Central's Tiffany Chen in the other.

In doubles championship play, Kendall Kirsch and Alexxis Kiven of Stevenson face Cammy Frei and Lily Schroeder of New Trier in a match with big team implications. The other doubles semi features Victoria Falk and Colleen Morris of Lake Forest against Taylor Arends and Tess Trinka of Oak Park-River Forest.

All championship bracket action will be played at Buffalo Grove High School, beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Quarterfinal and semifinal matches of the consolation feed-in will be held at Rolling Meadows beginning at 8 a.m., with consolation finals later held at Buffalo Grove.

An illustrious tennis career for Rolling Meadows senior Jackie and Allie Kemph came to a close on Friday afternoon at their home school with a top-24 finish.

In the backdraw Friday afternoon, the Kemph sisters defeated Belleville West's Blair Hollenbeck/Gabi Papachristanthou 6-2, 6-3 and Deerfield's Jessie Arenson/Ariel Lozovsky 6-2, 6-4 before dropping a three-setter to Edwardsville.

They left the court with a nice roar from their supporters.

"We definitely wanted top 24, and to keep going," Jackie said. "Our goal was top 32. It stinks now that we lost, but we'll look back and be happy about it. It was cool to have all of Allie's (Kemph) class come to watch the last match. It was cool to know the school was behind us the whole time."

"We've improved every year," said Rolling Meadows coach Jim Gumz. "We did more than hold our seed, and that's something to hang your hat on. We'll miss the anchor at the top of our lineup."

Hersey junior Sara Magnuson and Elk Grove freshman Jelena Vujanic both faltered in their first matches Friday, but both exceeded their expectations by getting to state for the first time.

"I anticipated Sara would qualify," said Hersey coach Sharon Meintzer. "She played courageously and did the best she could. It's been a long time since a Hersey player got this far."

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