Girls tennis: 'Tough' day for defending state champ Stevenson
The girls tennis season won't end for Stevenson the way it did last year, when coach Tom Stanhope insisted Whitney Young take home the IHSA state trophy after the Dolphins and his Patriots tied for the Class 2A championship.
"That's Stanhope," Stevenson state veteran Elizabeth Ferdman said of her coach's classy gesture.
The season might not end for Ferdman the way it did last year, either. Last fall, she and doubles partner Kate Harvey (Michigan State) won 6-of-7 matches and finished fifth in the state.
But a 6-4, 6-1 loss to Oak Park's Sophia Kreider and Maya Jamroz in their third match of the day at Elk Grove on Thursday bumped Ferdman and fellow senior Alyssa Glaser into the consolation bracket. Ferdman and Glaser entered the state tournament as a 5-8 seed and beat teams from Harlem and Barrington (Mounika Gadirjau/Kathleen Tomasian) in their first two matches of the day.
Kreider/Jamroz are a 9-16 seed.
"I think we just gave into their game," Ferdman, who recently committed to Marquette University, said after Oak Park frustrated her and Glaser with a series of well-placed, arching shots. "We're (usually) more aggressive, and we just sat back and played defensive with them. Which isn't our style.
"And I think because we were the higher seed, we had more pressure to win. I don't think we handled it that well."
"We tried our best," Glaser said. "We're excited for (Friday). We're going to try to get fifth."
Stevenson sisters Alaina Kolli and Athena Kolli, a 3-4 seed, fared better. Alaina, a freshman, and Athena, a junior, went 3-0 at Conant, winning in straight sets each time. In singles, Stevenson junior Ellen Ma opened win a loss, netted a win and then lost again, ending her tournament.
Stevenson (11 points) sits in fifth place after Day 1, well behind leader Hinsdale Central (22 points).
"That's tough," first-year Stevenson coach Angie Muresan said of her team's Thursday showing. "We'll see what (Friday) brings."
Both Ferdman and Glaser will try to enjoy the day, knowing it could be the last one as doubles partners for the friends since their middle-school days at Daniel Wright. They resume action at Schaumburg.
"I'm just excited to go finish senior year with her because Alyssa's like my best friend," said four-time state qualifier Ferdman, wearing a gray Marquette sweatshirt. "We treat each other like family."
Sophomore Lily VanDixhorn is the only remaining player at state for Libertyville after singles player Amanda Black and doubles partners Anna Wolski and Kiley Nolan were eliminated. VanDixhorn sandwiched a 6-4, 6-4 loss to 9-16 seed Annabelle Siegel of Minooka with a pair of 6-0, 6-0 wins.
Mundelein's doubles team of Isabel Alviar/Mikayla Edquiban is still alive after going 2-1 at Elk Grove. Alviar played singles at state each of the last three years, while Edquiban is playing doubles at state for the second year in a row.
Lake Zurich senior Sophia de los Reyes went 1-2.
Top-seeded Megan Heuser of Lakes did the expected on Day 1, winning all 3 of her matches in convincing fashion. Heuser, who finished third as a freshman last year, lost only 1 game.
Heuser's teammates, doubles partners Kyle Jozwik and Melissa Variny, also advanced to Friday. The unseeded Eagles duo opened with a loss to 9-16 seed Charlie Sartoris/Carley Hundman of Bloomington Central Catholic but rebounded with a pair of wins.
Antioch doubles partners Piper Foote and Sierra Ward followed the same path, losing their opener before bouncing back to win a pair of consolation-bracket matches to advance to Friday. Their second win ended the season of Vernon Hills' Shriya Avula/Sasha Yuzkiv (1-2 Thursday). Vernon Hills sophomore Claudia Bilkey kept alive her season by winning twice in the back draw.
Grayslake Central sophomore Karishma Bhalla won her first two matches, before losing in the third round. Wauconda freshman Megan Hackman dropped both of her matches. Carmel Catholic's doubles team of Mel Zimmerman and Reilly McGinn went 1-2.