Girls tennis: Hinsdale Central cruises to another conference crown
The thing about the Hinsdale Central girls tennis team is that it doesn't beat opponents as much as it disposes of them.
That's what the Red Devils did Saturday in the final rounds of the Lyons Township sectional, where they easily took the team title with 36 points. Lyons and Hinsdale South tied for second place with 13 points, while Downers Grove North was fourth with 10.
Leading the charge for Hinsdale Central was a freshman, Anna Wiskowski, who breezed past Downers Grove North sophomore Emily Wittmer 6-1, 6-0 in one singles semifinal.
In the other, Hinsdale Central junior Nicole Hu got pushed by Hinsdale South's Chase Metcalf in the second set, but righted herself in the third to win 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
With Wiskowski and Hu slated to face off for the sectional title, their coach, Shawna Zsinko, elected to have Hu default, thus handing the championship to Wiskowski. The reason? It was chilly and windy, and since both were already headed to state by virtue of making it to the semifinals, it was more prudent to avoid injury.
That didn't put a damper on things for either player.
"It's pretty awesome," Wiskowski said. "I'm just really happy and confident going into state."
As an observer, Wiskowski has never been to state, which will be hosted by Buffalo Grove next Thursday through Saturday. What does she perceive the experience will be like?
"Just a lot of energy from all the teams and their players and just really intense because everybody wants to win," she said.
It was the same situation in doubles for Hinsdale Central. Senior Katie Dollens, a Delaware recruit, and junior Sophia Kim beat LT's Maggie Brejcha and Sophie Reto, both seniors, 6-1, 6-0 in one semifinal. In the other, senior Zoe Limparis and junior Bridget Novatney beat Lyons seniors Tashi Bozovic and Mela Zimkus 6-1, 6-2. Once again, to avoid injury, Dollens and Kim won the sectional title by default.
"I don't really mind, because it's our team," Limparis said of the default. "Even if we did win, it wouldn't affect our ranking in state, so it's fine."
The third-place doubles match between Lyons' Brejcha/Reto and Bozovic/Zimkus was won by the latter team, 7-5, 6-0. But once again, no matter; everyone is going to state.
"I think it's a great accomplishment, especially since we're seniors," Bozovic said. "For me, I went to state sophomore year and so I think I know how it goes. I'm really excited for state, and we also qualified another doubles team, so that's great for LT overall."
Hinsdale South's Metcalf, who recently committed to Butler, had tough luck against Hu in their semifinal. Metcalf and Hu played basically even in the first set until Hu pulled away to win 6-4. In the second, though, Metcalf raced out to a 3-0 lead and then had to hold off Hu to win by that same 6-4 score.
Hu, though, jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the third before winning 6-2.
"My net game was on, so going to the net kind of really worked for me in the second set," said Metcalf, who won the third-place singles match over Wittmer 6-1, 6-0.
Wittmer had a tough day, but once again, getting to state for the first time in tennis -- she made it last year in track -- was the highlight. Like Wiskowski, she pondered what the state experience would be like.
"I'd imagine there is probably going to be some good competition," Wittmer said, "high-ranking players, and I'm probably going to have to grind it out."