Girls tennis: Hinsdale Central dominates West Suburban Silver tourney
Senior Zoe Limparis decided to join the Hinsdale Central girls tennis program as a sophomore.
"I wanted to catch up on my game and improve," Limparis said. "I just saw how much fun the girls were having and I really wanted to be a part of a team because tennis is so independent."
On Saturday, Limparis teamed with longtime friend and senior Bridget Novatney to win No. 1 doubles at the West Suburban Conference Silver Meet as the Red Devils continued their long run of conference crowns.
Hinsdale Central won all seven titles with singles champions freshmen Anna Wiskowski (No. 1) and Mia Batenic (No. 2) and junior Jia Sunkara (No. 3) and other doubles teams junior Prachi Shah and freshman Abigail Gambia (No. 2), senior Emma Biegansky and junior Shannon Stover (No. 3) and senior Delaney Marringa and junior Elizabeth Singer (No. 4).
York was second behind four second-place finishes and tied Glenbard West for second in the final overall standings that combines dual results. Downers Grove North was sixth.
The focus turns now to sectionals, where top-four finishes earn state berths. In dual play, the Red Devils lost only one match. Wiskowski avenged that Saturday with her 6-4, 7-5 championship victory over York's Lizzie Isyanov in another meeting of two of the state's outstanding freshmen.
Hinsdale Central coach Shawna Zsinko kept senior Katie Dollens and junior Sophia Kim out of the Silver lineup so Limparis and Novatney also could get No. 1-flight matches for sectional doubles seeding. In 2019, Limparis and Dollens were second at state doubles.
In last year's COVID-altered season, Limparis and Dollens were sectional champions but there was no state meet. Limparis and Novatney began as youth tennis rivals representing different country clubs.
"I would always go to the finals but she would always beat me. I've known her for a long time and it's great that we get to play doubles together at this part of my life," Novatney said.
Limparis and Novatney outlasted Glenbard West senior Elizabeth Fausey and sophomore Mira Kernagis 6-2, 7-5 for the No. 1 title.
After a lengthy first set, the teams exchanged winning games throughout the second.
"I was like, 'Bridget this is like quarterfinals at state,' " Limparis said. "It's nice knowing if we did play No. 1 doubles we could do it, as well for the confidence."
Fausey and Kernagis only have two losses. As a junior, Fausey would have gone to state as a sectional doubles champion.
"(The second set especially is) really encouraging," Fausey said. "I think we both sort of had an off day so if we can play that well on our off days, I think we can do a lot better on a good day."
Wiskowski is following the tennis footsteps of her mother and aunts in Michigan. Wiskowski's only loss is to Isyanov in a 10-8 third-set tiebreaker.
"I was really excited coming to high school and really looking forward to being on the team," Wiskowski said. "I just love how everyone is so close and always supports each other and it's like a big family."
The Dukes are 20-3 in duals. Their second-place doubles teams were sophomores Bella Bjerkan and Lindsey White (No. 2), juniors Samantha Kent and freshman Josie Coan (No. 3) and seniors Maria Chornij and Elle Jacobsthal (No. 4).
Sophomore Amelia Karr (No. 2 singles) was third, and senior Elle Duhig and junior Keira Polach (No. 1 doubles) were fourth. Karr has two losses and Isyanov and Duhig and Polach three each. Duhig and Polach have come one sectional win from state-qualifying doubles status with other partners.
"In our conference we have some of the best teams so I think that prepares us for anything that'll come in sectionals," Duhig said. "Mostly serving and volleying is how we've won so many matches," Polach said. "We want to make state, obviously. That's our goal."
In the Hinsdale Central-York doubles finals, the Red Devils prevailed 7-6 (8-6), 6-4 at No. 2, 6-3, 6-4 at No. 3 and 6-0, 6-3 at No. 4. Batenic beat Glenbard West freshman Audrey Creswell 6-4, 6-2. Glenbard West senior Shannele Lopez (No. 1 singles) was third. Sophomore Simone Annan (No. 3 singles), senior Ava Johnson and junior Anna McAlpine (No. 3 doubles) and juniors Kate Jewell and Abby Olsen (No. 4 doubles) were fourth. Downers Grove North sophomore Emily Wittmer (No. 1 singles) and senior Liveta Eskersis (No. 2 singles) were fourth.
A state track qualifier with the 800-meter relay, Wittmer will be among the LT Sectional hopefuls battling for spots not taken by the Red Devils.
"I'd probably be around fourth and I'll have to pull out some win that requires me to be focused," Wittmer said. "It's going to be difficult but it's doable if I'm in the right mindset."