Girls tennis: WW South's Choi/Orlove finish the job
You did a great job so take the day off!
Only a friendly debate will probably ensue, especially when it comes to the Wheaton-Warrenville South doubles team of senior Samantha Choi and junior Emily Orlove, who are actually looking forward to going back to school Monday.
That's because throughout the past three days the duo went undefeated, winning six matches, to become the Class 2A doubles state champions on a chilly and windy Saturday afternoon at Buffalo Grove.
"It's one of those rare times I'm actually excited to go (to school Monday) because all of our friends and support system will be there and happy for us," said Orlove. "This is amazing, but the hard work paid off. And it's great to share a title with one of the first people you ever played tennis with."
Orlove and Choi upended the Stevenson tandem of the Kolli sisters, freshman Alaina and sophomore Athena, in straight sets, 6-1, 6-0.
It was Orlove's consistency and power and Choi's arsenal of weapons and running down long shots that helped them prevail over a Patriot team that had also been undefeated as well heading into the finals.
"Every time they looked like they'd start a rally, we just dug deep and our net play was awesome," said Choi, who plans on playing tennis for the Naval Academy next year.
"We practice at the net a lot and that allows us to be more aggressive. You know you're not going to win every point, so you just have to shake off any bad shots."
Choi and Orlove didn't lose one set over their six match victories. In fact, the unseeded Orlove and Choi had upset top-seeded Akari Matsuno and Kyra Emmanouilidis of Fremd, 6-1, 6-4 in Friday night's semifinals.
This is the first year the two have played doubles together and Tigers coach Patti Clousing likes what she saw.
"They made a decision to team up at over the summer and wanted to make a run for it (a state title), so this is a fantastic way to wrap up the season," said the coach, whose daughter Keisha was the last state champion in tennis for the Tigers.
But the Kolli sisters were right there with them until the very end.
"This is special and important to even be here with my sister," said Athena Kolli. "We never really played much doubles before and decided to after the first practice this year to try and win it. It's been a cool experience. We'll be back."
Alaina Kolli thought the pair ran out of gas a little, especially after a grueling 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory over Highland Park's Monique Brual and Samara Michael in the semis on Friday.
"That was a great win for us to come back, but I think it took a little out of us," she added.
"But (Orlove and Choi) played amazing. We all fought to be here."
Meanwhile, at Schaumburg, the Patriots' Liz Ferdman and Alyssa Glaser put the finishing touches on a consolation quarterfinal victory over Mundelein's Isabel Alviar and Mikayla Edquiban, 8-5.
As a team, the co-state champion Patriots made a nice defense of their title, finishing third with 19 points. Hinsdale Central won the 2A team title (23 points) while Kiley Rabjohns won the Class 2A singles title for the runner-up Lake Forest (22). She defeated West Aurora's Maria Goheen 6-3, 6-3 in the finals.
Alvia and Edquiban helped the Mustangs finish tied for 23rd with 5 points in the team standings.
Libertyville's Lily VanDixhorn has a nice tournament winning three matches before falling in the fourth-round consolation to Maine South's Jennifer Ptak 6-4, 6-3. Her efforts helped the Wildcats finish tied for 19th place with 6 points).
Lakes sophomore Megan Heuser cruised into the semifinals after going 4-0. She had lost only 2 games in that span before falling to North Shore Country Day's Claudia Miller in the semis Friday, 7-6, (7-1), 6-0.
But Heuser, who was third in 1A singles last year as a freshman, rebounded nicely on Saturday by beating Claudia's sister Vivian for the third-place medal, 6-3, 6-4.
Heuser's 11 points helped Lakes finish seventh in the team standings with 13 points.
And like last year, she will most likely be greeted with excitement from her schoolmates for finishing third again.
"It was incredible last year. Students coming up to me I didn't even know congratulating me for third," she said.