Timothy Christian's Abygale Ahn and Cassandra Lee were a little leery of being named the No. 1 doubles seed in the Class 1A girls tennis tournament this weekend.
They're getting more comfortable with it with every match.
"We're doing what we had hoped we could do. Tennis is a funny sport. We're seeded No. 1 in Class 1A, but up to this point we've lived up to the billing," Timothy Christian coach Keith Mills said.
Ahn, a junior, and Lee, a freshman, defeated Kaitlyn Larson and Alyssa Guse of Rockford Lutheran 6-1, 6-0 in Friday's doubles third round at Buffalo Grove High School, then made quick work of Effingham St. Anthony's Allison Kowalke and Claire Wortman 6-0, 6-1 in the quarterfinals.
"We're playing a conservative strategy, making the other teams beat us," Mills said. "And they haven't."
They will play Anna Lytchakov and Medha Venigalla of Chatham Glenwood on Saturday morning in the semifinals at Buffalo Grove.
"We feel very optimistic. Their style of play will, I think, play into how we play," Mills said.
Ahn and Lee also have used their seed to their advantage. Opposing teams have seemed to become intimidated by playing the top seed, especially when they fall behind.
"That's been noticeable. Both matches today, teams really seemed to fade at the end," Mills said.
Ahn and Lee aren't the only No. 1 seed playing up to billing. Glenbard East senior Kolie Allen continued to play up to her No. 1 seed in Class 2A singles.
Allen, an Ohio State recruit, defeated Eileen Carney of Joliet West in straight sets, then topped Wheaton Warrenville South's Samantha Choi 6-3, 6-0 in the quarterfinals.
Allen will face Niles North's Michelle Bacalla in the semifinals Saturday morning at Buffalo Grove.
Also advancing to the Class 2A semifinals are Hinsdale Central doubles players Sarah Badawi and Kathryn Treiber. They defeated West Suburban Conference Silver Division rivals Molly Rueth and Grace Giffin of Glenbard West in the quarterfinals 6-3, 7-5.
Hinsdale Central, the defending team champion, ended Friday atop the Class 2A standings with 20 points, 2 points clear of second-place Whitney Young and Highland Park.
Hinsdale South is tied for fourth with Stevenson and Glenbard West is sixth with 15 points.