Girls tennis: Radovic, Warren swat away the competition

By Bill McLean
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 9/4/2021 6:39 PM

Warren freshman Anastasia Radovic took her racket back on Saturday afternoon, eyeballed the fluttering target, bent her knees, swung and ... whiffed.

The bee survived.


But Radovic found considerably more success against tennis balls, connecting squarely often enough to win all 3 of her matches at No. 2 singles at the Warren girls tennis quad in Gurnee. The Blue Devil netted a pivotal win against Grayslake Central, edging Rams freshman Sasha Baer 3-6, 6-3, 10-8 (super tiebreaker).

Radovic trailed Baer 7-3 in the breaker.

"I like Anastasia's focus," said junior teammate Kaija Johnson, who went 3-0 at No. 2 doubles with senior Elizabeth Payson.

Warren captured the quad title after downing Grayslake Central 4-3, Carmel Catholic 5-2 and St. Francis 7-0. GLC finished runner-up with a 2-1 mark in duals, followed by Carmel (1-2) and St. Francis (0-3).

"Our girls have been trusting the process and playing with confidence," said Warren coach Vince DeSecki, whose squad improved to 6-0 overall. "We have a good combination of seniors and underclassmen. The older ones are showing the younger ones how to behave well on the court and reminding them of the importance of winning and losing with dignity."

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GLC senior Karishma Bhalla raced to a trio of easy victories, dropping a combined 2 games in 6 sets and upping her season record to 6-0.

"She's the best female player I've ever had," longtime Rams coach Chuck Lawson said. "So intense. Winning means a lot to Karishma, but so does something else -- playing well. Just solid. Karishma is as solid as can be."

GLC seniors Aviva Krill and Grace Caldwell racked up 3 wins at No. 1 doubles, including a taut 6-2, 3-6, 10-8 decision versus Carmel's top two singles players, senior Alex Monroe and junior Emily Fix. GLC clinched its 4-3 defeat of Carmel -- and second place in the team standings -- when seniors Ashna Desai/Kelsey Halvorsen downed Corsairs Clare Roth/Lily Shenderovsky 6-3, 6-2 at No. 3 doubles.

Carmel named Gina Borkowski, an assistant Corsairs boys and girls tennis coach since 2019, interim varsity girls coach last weekend after Chris Kannenberg stepped down.

"It's a honor to serve the position," said Borkowski, a Buffalo Grove graduate who took up tennis after she turned 30. "I love the game. I want my players to love the game, too."


St. Francis' players, like Warren's Radovic, battled bees in between matches, none more than a pair of B's -- senior Bryn Carroll and junior Bridget Rice -- did near a set of bleachers. The doubles mates went 2-1 at No. 2.

Carroll used to compete on an entirely different court, with a higher net.

"Bryn came to us from volleyball," Spartans coach Tom Castronovo said. "Volleyball players are communicative, athletic, fast and so dynamic. They're aggressive, and they have great instincts.

"Bryn," he added, "has been the life of the party, our spark plug."

Other notable results Saturday: Warren senior Isha Bordawekar and junior Nithya Kommanaboyina split time on the Nos. 3 and 4 doubles courts and contributed 3 wins apiece; Warren sophomore Peyton Mueller went 3-0 at No. 3 singles; and Carmel junior Mary Titterton won twice at No. 1 doubles with senior Colleen Ryan and capped her day with a No. 2 singles victory against GLC.

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