Girls tennis: Hills leads young Barrington past Fremd
Maddie Hills led a Barrington girls tennis youth movement that rambled past Fremd 5-2 Tuesday in Mid-Suburban League action in Palatine.
Hills, who is a freshman, won in straight sets defeating Fremd's Sonal Matta 6-3, 6-1 in the No. 1 singles match.
"It went real well today," Hills said. "I tried to hit a lot of slices on my backhand to change up the pace and give some variety."
Barrington coach Heather Graham, who is in her first year as head coach, said that the lack of experience has been turned into a positive for her team.
"We are a new fresh face," Graham said. "I know we have a lot to learn, but we are still all about the team. We want to give our best effort."
Hills said playing No. 1 singles against older and more experienced players has been a new experience for her.
"It is definitely nerve-racking," Hills said. "But I am getting used to it."
Hills was just one of the three winning Barrington singles players, with none of the three having played on the varsity last season.
Nayana Ramesh, who played junior varsity tennis last year, beat Fremd's Kate Lee 6-0, 6-0 at second singles. Barrington's Olivia Paik, who is also a freshman, beat Fremd's Mako Samida 6-0, 6-0 to give the Fillies a sweep in the singles matches.
Barrington also won the No. 3 and 4 doubles matches.
The team of Nisha Janananchi and Sofia Hutchison beat Fremd's Lily Rybka and Lauren Plummer 6-0, 6-2 in third doubles. Nurayn Khan and Grace Kafka beat Fremd's Rachel Lee and Mina Oku 6-0, 6-1 at fourth doubles.
"Every match is really important," Graham said. "Even though the score may say different, they are still competing every point."
Fremd, which lost to Barrington in its match last season but came back to win the conference tournament to earn a share of the West title, posted wins at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles on Tuesday.
The sister team of Kelli and Gracie Ha beat Barrington's Niyanthi Puliyai and Amani Alui 6-1, 7-5. They had to rally from a 5-4 deficit with Barrington serving for the win in the second set. The Ha sisters are now 10-0 on the season.
"It is crazy playing with my sister," said Kelli Ha, who is a senior. "I have played with my older sister (Elsie) and now playing with Gracie. It is two different moves. But I love it."
Gracie Ha, who is a sophomore, said that she draws from her sister's competitiveness.
"I have always wanted to play with her," Gracie Ha said. "She is the one that keeps me going on the court. She gives me the energy I need and playing with her has made me grow as a person."
In the second doubles match, Fremd's April Wu and Valentina Betancourt rallied to beat Barrington's Sam Kim and Abby Carl 5-7, 6-3, 10-4.
Fremd coach Scott Newmark said that he feels his team has an opportunity to improve before the conference meet in three weeks.
"Our top doubles is playing really well," Newmark said. "We have had some injuries at the singles spot. We are still playing with the lineup but we still have high expectations."