Girls tennis: Barrington sweeps titles at Cary-Grove sectional
Fracturing her fibula on June 23 in a United States Tennis Association summer tournament, Chloe Siegfort's freshman season at Jacobs seemed in serious jeopardy.
But through hard work and rehab, Siegfort returned to the courts for the Golden Eagles a little over three months after the injury on Sept. 26.
The Jacobs freshman won No. 1 singles at last weekend's Fox Valley Conference meet and entered Saturday's Class 2A Cary-Grove sectional with high expectations.
Losing to fellow freshman phenom Barrington's Madeline Hills in the finals 6-3, 6-2, Siegfort's second place effort earned her a place at next weekend's state finals.
"It took a lot of hard work and rehab to get back for the high school season," said Siegfort. "I could have played better in the championship match but I am happy to be playing in the state meet as a freshman."
Hills was ecstatic with the individual sectional title.
"My goal since the beginning of the season was to win the sectional and advance to the state finals," said Hills. "It was very nerve wracking but satisfying. I got most of my first serves in and my slice was really working."
Barrington will be sending its entire roster to Buffalo Grove as it boasted another sectional champion in tandem senior Niyanthi Puyiala and sophomore Amani Alvi at doubles who beat their teammates Sam Kim and Sofia Hutchinson in the finals 6-3, 7-5. Puyiala recorded her third straight trip to the state tournament and her second consecutive sectional title (first as doubles).
Huntley sophomore Ruhi Gulati, who will be making her second trip to the state finals, placed third because of injury default. Hills defeated Gulati 6-1, 6-0 in the semifinal match.
"There was certainly some pressure this season on me because I made it to state last season as a freshman," said Gulati. "I have improved from last year and I am mentally stronger. Playing in the state finals last year will help me this year. I know how to prepare."
Finishing fourth in doubles, Cary-Grove's Alina Krembuszewski and Karina Los advanced to the state finals for the second straight campaign.
Jacobs' Lindsay Cunningham and Isha Desai defeated Krembuszewski-Los 6-3, 7-5 in the third place match. It was the third time Cunningham-Desai have defeated Krembuszewski-Los this season.
"This match was much closer than the previous two," said Krembuszewski. "They beat us much easier both times. We were much more competitive."
Los is happy to make a second straight trek to the state finals.
"We wanted to make it to state again," said Los. "That was our main goal. We kept our intensity all weekend long and we really play well together. We really stepped it up in the third place match. Jacobs had beaten us easily the first two times. We played much better. It is nice to have the experience of playing in state finals last year. We know what to expect."