Girls tennis: Barrington duo reaches doubles quarterfinals at state

By Bill McLean
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 10/21/2021 8:22 PM

A trainer examined Barrington senior Abby Carl to make sure she hadn't suffered a concussion Thursday morning.



Carl's nose?

Not broken.

She then returned to action. Not in an UFC match. Nor for the final round of the World Juggling Federation Championships (bowling ball division).

Carl rejoined junior doubles partner Olivia Paik at Prospect for a first-round match against O'Fallon at the Class 2A girls tennis state tournament. A shot from close range had struck Carl's face, necessitating a 10-minute break in what would result in a 6-3, 6-2 Fillies victory on a gray, chilly, drizzly day.

"I got beaned. I'm fine," Carl said.

Carl/Paik, unseeded, later knocked Bloomington's Mariel Runyan/Gabby Runyan out of the main draw with a decisive 6-2, 6-1 win and upset 9-16 seed Ellie Peskin/Alexa Stolyarov of Glenbrook North 6-2, 6-3 to net a quarterfinal berth.

Not bad, considering the same duo had captured a Mid-Suburban League tournament title earlier this month at ... No. 2 doubles.

"They're really good together, energy-wise," Barrington coach Heather Graham said of her reigning Jacobs sectional doubles champs. "They're also calm and consistent, and they know when to look at each other, in a match, and say, 'OK, let's get back to basics.' "

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Graham paired the two strong baseliners before the midpoint of the season. They're feeling more and more comfortable at the net. Daily. And ending points quickly.

"My net game has improved because of Abby," Paik said.

Carl/Paik face 3-4 seed Jayna Dunwoody/Jenna Stevens of Whitney Young at Buffalo Grove Friday at 9 a.m., with a spot in a state semifinal at stake.

Barrington and Whitney Young are tied for eighth place (10 points apiece) in the team standings. Hinsdale Central sits in first place with 20 points, followed by New Trier (18), Deerfield (15) and Lake Forest (12).

Stevenson, York and Glenbrook North are tied for fifth place (11 points apiece).

Conant freshman and reigning MSL No. 1 singles champion Kaitlyn Strilich went 3-1 Thursday and will play a fourth-round back draw match Friday morning. Her third victory eliminated Rolling Meadows senior Hanna Haber, last weekend's Fremd sectional runner-up who split four matches at her first state meet.


Elk Grove senior Peyton Oda, like others assigned to battle at the Vernon Hills Athletic Complex, had to spend way more time sitting than hitting tennis balls. Site officials paused play for nearly two hours because of rain Thursday morning.

"I went to a restaurant and drank apple juice," the hard-hitting Grenadier said. "I relaxed there, too. The last thing I wanted to do was overthink."

Oda beat Bloomington's Olivia Bell 6-0, 6-1 in the first round and bowed 6-1, 6-1 to 5-8 seed Lizzie Isyanov of York in the round of 32. Oda's consolation-round match was suspended in the second set because of damp conditions late Thursday afternoon.

Fremd seniors Sonal Matta/Gracie Ha nearly pulled off the upset of the tournament on their home surface in the third round. Top-seeded Lainey Oneil/Isabelle Chong of Lake Forest remained undefeated in 2021 after edging the pair of Vikings 4-6, 7-6 (1), 6-4.

Prospect seniors Katherine Doyle/Natalie Katsoras capped their fine doubles careers with a 2-2 showing at state; Maine South's Eva Zaskowski/Mina Radosavljevic recorded three straight doubles wins after a first-round setback; and Barrington's other state entrant in doubles, seniors Amani Alvi/Priya Shah, get to play at least one more match Friday after winning 3 of 4 matches at Fremd.

Class 1A:

St. Viator netted 8 points (seventh-place tie) in day one of the three-day girls tennis state tourney. Lions junior Maia Nowicki split her first 2 matches and notched 2 wins in the back draw at Hoffman Estates; St. Viator's Allison Jodoin/Meredith Garcia, meanwhile, went 2-1 in doubles at Palatine, falling to top-seeded Emilee Pak/Sophie Baker of Chicago (University) in the third round.

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