Class was in session on the tennis courts at Hersey High School on Friday morning when West Aurora's Emily Stefancic faced New Trier's Carol Finke in a championship bracket round of 16 match in the girls state tournament.
Stefancic exhibited it in defeat in the way she lauded Finke after her 6-1, 6-0 victory in Arlington Heights.
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"It was an honor to be able to play her because she's such a nice girl," Stefancic said of the Yale-bound Finke. "I couldn't get over her court etiquette. She's so classy, probably the classiest person I've ever played."
The Northern Illinois-bound Stefancic saw her prep career come to an end one match later with a 6-1, 6-3 loss to Glenbard East's Priscilla Palermo in the consolation bracket sixth round. But Finke came away impressed with Stefancic.
"It was definitely much closer than the score," said Finke, who has lost only once this season and advanced to the semifinals with a two-set win over Lake Forest's Elizabeth Zordani. "She's a great competitor and I think I just played really well. I went for my shots and I've worked on my serve, and it paid off in that match."
Stefancic thought she could have played better but credited Finke for having something to do with making things difficult.
"I missed way too many easy shots," Stefancic said of her first trip to the round of 16 in four state appearances. "I felt like I was going for too much too soon and I should have stayed more patient and waited for my shots. Live and learn.
"Her shot selection was ridiculous. The way she would set up a point blew my mind and it made me really frustrated, too."
But she didn't let it show on the court.
"It was intense, but the perfect kind of intense," Stefancic said.
Geneva junior Kirby Einck won her first two consolation bracket matches Friday in straight sets to advance to the sixth round and then lost a 3-set match.
Batavia's Jenny Mizikar and Amelia Cogan lost their fourth-round consolation bracket match in three sets to Neuqua Valley's Riti Vohra and Taylor Hersey. Rosary's Megan Conlin and Andrea Goyao were trailing 6-1, 5-3 in a fourth-round consolation match when they were forced to retire because of injury.
Conlin and Goyao beat Illinois Math and Science Academy's Nahee Park and Emily Ling 7-5, 7-6 (7-6) in a third-round consolation match Friday.