There was no blood in the four badminton doubles matches between Geneva and West Aurora.
That meant the schools' final match of the Blackhawks' quadrangular would be decided by the eight singles combatants Tuesday evening in Aurora.
Geneva senior Melanie Burkhardt notched a quick two-set victory over West Aurora counterpart Mayra Garcia, but the other three West Aurora players picked up their teammate.
Christina Dumba prevailed at second singles, Kelly McKiness allowed only 20 total points and Katie Vongphakdy won a third-set tiebreaker to give West Aurora a 5-3 victory.
The Blackhawks improved to 5-1 on the season after respective 6-2 and 7-1 wins over Metea Valley and Plainfield North.
Geneva (9-3) opened the day with an 8-0 whitewash of Plainfield North, but dropped all four singles matches against fellow Upstate Eight member Metea Valley in a 6-2 loss.
"It was a very good match," McKiness said of her duel with Geneva senior Caitlin Owen. "I made her run back and forth a lot."
Vongphakdy had a stirring finish to cement the decisive team point in her 20-22, 21-15 and 21-13 victory over Hannah Vallero.
"I couldn't have done it without my team," Vongphakdy said. "They were cheering for me the whole time. I really needed the moral support."
West Aurora had already clinched the match by the time Burkhardt had the lone singles win for Geneva against the Blackhawks.
"Winning the last match in the quad was important," Burkhardt said. "I wanted to at least win over half of my matches today."
In the doubles matches, Geneva partners Cara Birschbach and Nila Kannankeril survived the Blackhawks' No. 1 team of Kerri Olson and Hiba Shahid in three sets.
The Vikings' third unit of Sarah Gallagher and Elena Kelly were flawless on the day after upending the Blackhawks' Baily Corbin and Jordyn Poppen -- who won their first two matches -- in straight sets.
But West Aurora emerged victorious in second and fourth doubles to tie the match heading into the singles round.
Zsa Zsa Quach and Kristal Diaz were a winning partnership for West Aurora at second doubles, and the junior tandem of Cynthia Saucedo and Amber Moenkeimer defeated Emma Peters Elizabeth Blaszynski by razor-thin margins.
"I'm very happy with our doubles," West Aurora coach Ray Lopez said. "They're improving a lot faster than I thought they would. Now we need the singles to catch up with them. We're attacking the net a lot more."
"It was very strong competition, especially in first doubles and first singles," Geneva coach Pat Fischer said. "The top three doubles team from Geneva, Metea Valley and West Aurora: they all went three games and they all beat each other."
Bartlett wins two: There's one thing that's pretty clear about the Bartlett softball team this season, whether it be in a dome or outdoors -- if outdoors ever happens.
The Hawks can hit.
After scoring 13 runs on 10 hits in a 13-3 win over Joliet West, Bartlett dug itself an 8-0 hole in the first inning against Plainfield Central before coming back to beat the Wildcats 10-9 Tuesday at The Dome at The Ballpark in Rosemont.
"I liked the way we hit in both games today," said Bartlett coach Jim Wolfsmith. "If we could have got out of our own way to start the game (against Plainfield Central) we wouldn't have had to come back like that but the kids did a great job of hitting."
Plainfield Central's first inning was nightmarish for the Hawks (2-0). The Wildcats rapped out 7 hits off senior Amy Johnson, Bartlett committed 2 errors that made all 8 runs unearned, and after 12 batters went to the plate the Wildcats (0-1) had an 8-0 lead.
But just like that, Johnson settled down and the Hawks began their comeback against PC freshman ace Brooklyn Daly.
Bartlett scored one in the second, an Alyssa Nowak single driving in Alex Morales, who had tripled. The Hawks added two more in the third, Lauren Janczak's turf-hop triple driving in Katie Fornoff, who had reached in a fielder's choice, then Janczak scoring on a double steal after a walk to Kayla Haberstich.
But Daly settled in for the middle innings and kept it an 8-3 game into the bottom of the sixth when the Wildcats, who won 28 games last year and lost in a sectional final to Class 4A state champion Minooka, added what appeared at the time to be an unneeded insurance run on an RBI groundout from Alison Mangino off Nowak, who had relieved Johnson to start the inning.
Daly carried the 6-run lead into the top of the seventh and that's when Bartlett unleashed its own 12-batter inning that included 6 hits and 3 Wildcat errors.
Sophomore call-up Elyse Hickey had 2 hits in the inning, including an RBI single that drove in courtesy runner Nicole Gerdevich with what turned out to be the winning run.
Nowak (3-for-3, 3 RBI) had a big 2-run single in the inning, while Fornoff and Janczak (3-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI) also drove in runs.
That left things up to Nowak and the Bartlett defense to complete the comeback. The Hawk sophomore got the first two Wildcats on groundouts to the sure-handed Haberstich at shortstop before giving up a single to catcher Gretchen Egly. But Nowak got Nina Connell on a called third strike to complete the win.
Against Joliet West, Hawk senior ace Holly Pagan went the full 6 innings, allowing just 4 hits with 6 strikeouts and 1 walk. All 3 Joliet West runs were unearned.
-- John Radtke