Girls tennis: Stevenson earns state title share

Kate Harvey and Elizabeth Ferdman did their job on Saturday afternoon during the final day of the IHSA Class 2A girls tennis state finals held at Buffalo Grove High School.

After defeating Glenbrook North's Catherine O'Regan and Samantha Frishman 6-4, 6-1 for fifth place, it was time to sit and wait as the Pats still had a chance to come away with that elusive first title in girls tennis after three consecutive runner-up finishes.

"This experience has been so amazing playing with an incredible team," said Harvey, who will showcase her talents at Michigan State next fall. "We are so excited. It would be icing on the cake (if we won the title)."

Well girls, grab yourselves a big slice - or the entire cake.

Twenty minutes after the Harvey and Ferdman match ended, news broke that West Aurora's doubles team had won. Word spread like wildfire because as a result, Stevenson ended up clinching a tie with Chicago's Whitney Young for the team title. Both finished with 21 points.

"Under fortuitous circumstances, we performed," said Ferdman, only a junior with quite the vocabulary. "This means the world. And to win the last match with my best friend means everything. I'm so proud to be a part of this team."

Harvey and Ferdman finished the three-day state tourney with 6 wins against the lone defeat in the quarterfinals of the championship bracket on Friday.

Harvey was a four-year state qualifier in doubles, collecting a state title and runner-up finish along the way.

"It's been easy to get close to that peak and now we finally reached it," coach Tom Stanhope said about his team that finished 18-0 overall in dual meets.

The Pats also won titles along the way at New Trier, Fremd and Prospect before repeating as NSC and sectional champs.

"We knew we had to go to work today after ending Friday on a down note," Stanhope said. "Everyone knew what she had to do. Kate (Harvey) has been a big part of our success. She's a leader with the right attitude and a role model."

Senior singles standout Zoe Taylor had a strong run in this her senior campaign.

Taylor earned 7 points for the team after winning 4 out of 5 matches before being eliminated by Lake Forest's Kiley Rabjohns 6-4, 6-2 in the consolation semifinals.

The doubles team of senior Bronwyn Heidkiamp and junior Alyssa Glaser won three matches and picked up 5 points before falling in the fifth-round consolation match.

And sophomore Athena Kolli also made it to state in singles but her visit was cut short after a pair of losses during action on Thursday.

Besides Harvey, Heidkamp, Kolli, Ferdman, Glaser, and Taylor, other varsity team members of the newly crowned state champs include: seniors Sam Burger, Ambika Singh and Carly Lefar, and sophomores Ellen Ma, Kaya Rand, Maggie Gong and Sneha Yellapantula.

"We look pretty good for next year too with a strong core returning," Stanhope said. "Patriot Nation is going strong."

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