Girls tennis: Stevenson claims NSC crown
Stevenson's girls tennis team was the front-runner during the season and found out that the rest of the North Suburban Conference was ready for an intense battle in the conference meet that finished on Saturday in Lake Forest.
Weather played a role on Friday and pushed some of the singles matches indoors on day one. On Saturday the meet was also delayed for a few hours to dry off the courts.
The Patriots survived a number of battles in singles play and prevailed with their doubles teams. Stevenson won the meet with 36 points, followed by Lake Forest (31), Libertyville (22) and Warren (13).
In the overall conference standings, Stevenson was the conference champion, Lake Forest second, while Libertyville and Warren tied for third place. Lake Zurich, Mundelein, Zion-Benton and Waukegan followed.
"There are a lot of good teams," Stevenson coach Jose Morales said. "It's a little bittersweet of how two of our singles ended. But, I'm still happy about it. There's a lot of good players and when the margins are so close, anything can make a difference. We'll take the win."
One of the many matches that was close happened at No. 1 singles. Lake Forest's Autumn Rabjohns got past previously unbeaten Sarah Wang of Stevenson 6-3, 6-4. Rabjohns rallied in the second set down 4-1 and broke Wang's service three straight times to win the match that lasted well over two hours.
"I'm really excited to win. That was a really tough match," said Rabjohns, who lost to Wang in two sets during the season. "The points were all tough and the same type of tennis, but a different turnout. Every point was a tough grind. I was just going point by point with the next point only."
In a battle of freshmen at No. 2 singles, Stevenson's Abby Ma beat Lana Dogadaiski of Libertyville 6-1, 6-2, while Lake Forest's Bella Rausch defeated Stevenson's Anna Trush 6-1, 7-5 at No. 3 singles.
Libertyville's Maggie Forkner won third place at No. 1 singles as she defeated Katrina Bolanov of Lake Zurich 6-4, 6-3.
"It's awesome to say that I got third," Forkner said. "I grinded, fought so deep. To get third in conference with all these talented girls. I feel I'm getting better every day."
Angelina Siomba of Lake Forest got past Warren's Payton Mueller for third, 6-2, 6-0, at No. 2 singles and Candella Arregui of Libertyville won by injury default over Sadie Sutz of Warren for third at No. 3 singles.
In doubles, the Lake Forest duo of Lainey O'Neil/Isibelle Chong defeated Sonia Mehta/Ainika Hou of Stevenson 6-3, 6-3 in the No. 1 final. But the Patriots were able to take the other three doubles. At No. 2, Stevenson's Katherine Herlihy/Thea Surya defeated Lake Forest 6-1, 7-6 (7-2) and at No. 3, Ashley Adkisson/Sophia Shlyakhta also beat Lake Forest.