Girls tennis: Fremd, Barrington doubles teams still alive at state

By Bill McLean
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 10/23/2021 12:20 AM

All day Friday, Fremd seniors Gracie Ha and Sonal Matta thought, "Saturday, Saturday, Saturday."

It worked.



The Vikings' top doubles team won a trio of back-draw matches Friday to secure a consolation-semifinal berth Saturday at the Class 2A girls tennis state tournament.

"They stuck to a game plan and executed all day in order to play in a third day at state," proud Fremd coach Scott Newmark said of his duo, a 9-16 seed that dismissed three foes in straight sets after losing 4-6, 7-6 (1), 6-4 to top-seeded and eventual finalists Lainey Oneil/Isabelle Chong of Lake Forest in a magnificent battle in the round of 16 Thursday at Fremd.

"What an electric atmosphere that was," he added. "And to do what they did, as seniors, on their home court ... incredible, incredible tennis. I've seen state doubles finals. My girls, against those great Lake Forest players -- that looked like a state final."

Reigning Fremd sectional runners-up Ha/Matta face New Trier's Lucy Parrilli/Keri Rothenberg in a consolation semifinal at 8 a.m. Saturday at Rolling Meadows. Another win would put the pair of Vikings in the match for fifth place.

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"I'm so happy for them, with the way they're playing," Newmark said. "Why wouldn't I be?

"I've known them since they were in the sixth grade, so half their lives."

Not half bad? Barrington's Abby Carl/Olivia Paik. Still. They're unseeded. But they're no longer unheralded. The upstart tandem of the state tournament continued to impress after shrugging off a 6-0, 6-1 loss to Whitney Young's Jayna Dunwoody/Jenna Stevens, a 3-4 seed, in a quarterfinal at Buffalo Grove on Friday morning.

The Fillies had defeated a 9-16 seed, and had an indirect win over a 5-8 seed, in Thursday's state action.

Carl/Paik eliminated Naperville North's Brooke Coffman/Gabby Lee on Friday, setting up a back-draw semifinal clash (8 a.m. Saturday, at Rolling Meadows) with Stevenson juniors and 5-8 seed Ainika Hou/Sonia Mehta, a pair that would have faced Carl/Paik in the second round Thursday had the Patriots' top doubles team not lost to a Bloomington entrant.

Hou/Mehta have gone 6-for-6 in back-draw matches.

Maine South doubles mates Eva Zaskowski/Mina Radosavljevic won 4 of 5 state matches after a first-round loss Thursday.


Hinsdale Central (34 points) clinched the team championship Friday. Lake Forest -- with only 2 entrants, each in a final Saturday -- is in second place (24), followed by New Trier (23), Deerfield (21) and Stevenson (20).

Barrington (11 points) is tied with York for 10th place.

Class 1A update:

First things first -- St. Viator followed up its first sectional championship in program history last weekend with its first top-10 finish at a state meet.

St. Viator (11 points) is tied for seventh place with two other schools heading into the final day of Class 1A girls tennis state tournament.

And the Lions achieved both distinctions under first-year varsity coach Mary Louise Blaney, the Lions' JV tennis coach last fall.

Viator senior Allison Jodoin and sophomore Meredith Garcia missed a spot in a back-draw doubles semifinal by a mere 2 points; they fell to Wauconda seniors and 3-4 seed Megan Hackman/Sophia Esquivel 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 (super tiebreaker). They went 3-2 at state.

Lions junior Maia Nowicki, meanwhile, won 4 of 6 singles matches at state, including 3 straight triumphs after a second-round setback.

"I could tell, in August, that I'd get to coach an incredibly talented, hardworking group," Blaney recalled. "Many had taken a lot of lessons in the offseason."

All Class 2A and 1A state finals (11 a.m.), third-place (8 a.m.) and fifth-place (11 a.m.) matches will be staged at Buffalo Grove on Saturday.

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