Barrington girls tennis coach Tracy Waters used multiple bus trips to help propel the Fillies to a Mid-Suburban League title, and she may do the same for sectional play.
Waters wanted to assure as big a cheering section as possible for the three singles entrants and four doubles teams that joined forces to score 53 points and secure a conference crown over second-place Hersey and 10 other teams in Schaumburg on Saturday.
“We had a bus take us from site to site so we could all cheer each other on when we weren’t playing our own matches,” said Addie Hirsch, who teamed with Anna Donoghue to take the No. 1-doubles crown. “Everyone went to an effort to cheer the team.”
“It’s great to have our teammates cheer us and to cheer them,” added Michelle Linden, who was the runner-up in No. 1 singles.
Recognizing that tennis is primarily an individual sport, Waters used the bus to help the athletes find a team feeling both while playing and when they were waiting for their next match.
“We want to have as much of a team experience as we can,” Waters said. “At the end of the day, it was a team win.”
Besides Hirsch and Donoghue, Caroline Levy (No. 2 singles) and the tandem of Sara Amano and Hanna Park (No. 3 doubles) won championships. The duo of Midhi Jah and Paige Broustis (No. 2 doubles) got a second-place medal along with Linden. Sanna Walia (No. 3 singles) and the doubles team of Kayleigh Ruffolo and Hayoung Park took third.
Waters plans to use the same bus strategy when the team’s lineup is pared from 11 to six to compete in the Stevenson Sectional that starts Thursday in Lincolnshire. The Fillies will be trying to send representatives to the state finals the following weekend in Buffalo Grove.
Linden and Levy, who will play singles, are looking for a return trip to state as is the team of Hirsch and Donoghue. Jah and Broustis will play doubles as well. The top four sectional finishers earn the trip.
After finishing among the top 12 at the state tourney last year, Linden will have an even bigger cheering section at sectionals. The junior is the youngest of four tennis-playing sisters. Her elder siblings now range between the ages of 22 and 26. They all distinguished themselves in the state finals.
“It’s really exciting to have my sisters there,” Linden said. “They coach me and give me advice.”
She credits the shared experiences with helping her in major tournaments. She has also been around the Fillies program more than most players.
“She’s been out here with us since she was  years old,” Waters said. “She’s a real team player who likes to play high school tennis.”