Girls tennis: Fremd's Shyani wins MSL crown
Rolling Meadows junior Hanna Haber walked off Fremd's tennis courts Saturday following the Mid-Suburban League first singles championship and quickly found an ice pack to wrap around her left ankle.
It's tough enough to play Fremd freshman Alina Shyani with two good wheels.
Haber battled but became Shyani's latest victim in a 6-4, 6-0 result.
Shyani improved to 19-0, blasting one ball after another down the lines for winners.
"Whenever I get on the court I try to hit the ball as hard as I can," Shyani said. "That's how I naturally play. It gives me confidence. I was trying to move her around and hit it as hard as I could and win the point."
"Alina is the gift that gets dropped on your door," Fremd coach Scott Newmark said. "Every match she shocks me even more with her ability and her guts to win. We know Hanna, she's not going to give up. Even as a freshman Alina has that championship mentality."
While Shyani won her semifinal Saturday morning 6-0, 6-1, Haber had her hands full with Peyton Oda from Elk Grove. Haber came from behind for a 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3 victory.
After finishing fifth in the MSL as a freshman and missing last year's tournament with a wrist injury, Haber was happy taking runner-up.
"I was glad I was able to pull that (semifinal) out," Haber said. "She's (Shyani) really good. I hit with her sometimes in groups. We are really good friends. She hits the ball really hard and flat -- I tried to play through the pain and get to every ball I could."
Fremd also won the first doubles title. Juniors Gracie Ha and Sonal Matta defeated seniors Sofia Hutchison and Sam Kim, 6-4, 6-1 after a 6-2, 6-0 semifinal victory over Conant.
Ha and Matta are 23-2.
"I've known them since they were in sixth grade," Newmark said. "I had an idea to put them together. I wasn't sure about it for while but they have been an amazing team all year. I couldn't be prouder of them. After the first set they knew what to do."
Newmark said it has been a challenge for his girls to play the same opponents so frequently this year.
Fremd also won the second doubles crown. Seniors Katie Sze and April Wu defeated Barrington's Nisha Janamanchi and Amani Alvi, 7-6 (4), 2-6, 7-6 (5).
Barrington and Fremd both ended up with 54 points. Barrington won the tiebreaker with a head-to-head dual win to claim the MSL championship.
"It takes a lot of work, a lot of sweat, a lot of perseverance to get to this point," Barrington coach Heather Graham said. "Every single one of their matches counted, every single one of their points counted toward us having a victory as a team. We played such good schools today. It could have gone either way but what you do during the season carries throughout it."
Prospect (38 points), Conant (34) and Rolling Meadows (23) rounded out the top five.
Barrington sophomore Olivia Paik didn't lose a set in her three victories en route to the No. 2 singles championship. Another sophomore, Emily Yoon, also didn't lose a set in taking the No. 3 singles title.
"It's so great to have so many players that are able to work with anyone," Graham said. "It doesn't start top down, it also starts bottom up how we are all able to work with each other. It's a mix of everyone pairing in different ways. I know we are fortunate to have such a strong team but we also are fortunate to have players who really value themselves no matter where they are in the lineup."
Barrington's depth continued with championships at No. 3 and 4 doubles. Juniors Abby Carl and Priya Shah took the third title and Nurayn Khan and Chloe Kazaglis the fourth.
"Barrington's depth and consistency of their depth is amazing to see," Newmark said. "Especially the bottom of the lineup they throw out great teams."
West Suburban Silver:
Hinsdale Central scored 42 points to win a conference championship. Glenbard West finished second with 29, York had 26 and Lyons 20.