Homewood-Flossmoor doubles fall short of goal

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With three years of the state tournament competition under their belts, Homewood-Flossmoor’s Timara Maxwell and Sophia Osabuohien were poised to continue their run at a state title on Friday.

Just two matches stood between the doubles duo and a berth in Saturday’s state semifinals.

But on this day, Maxwell and Osabuohien were just a little off their game.

Having lost earlier in the day in the fourth round of the winner’s bracket, Maxwell and Osabuohien fell 6-1, 6-4 in the seventh consolation round to Young’s Sloane Williams and Kendall Scruggs, ending their run at state doubles championships.

“There’s good days and bad days, and it comes down to the fact they didn’t play their best [Friday],” Homewood-Flossmoor coach Don Baron said. “They felt a little pressure [Friday] and some shots didn’t drop. It happens sometimes where the shot is there or it isn’t.”

Maxwell, a senior, and Osabuohien, a junior, finish the season with a 26-2 record.

Over three trips to the state tournament, the duo piled up a combined 11 wins.

“The reason people were drawn to them was their energy and their passion,” Baron said. “They were big hitters who went for their shots. They put in a lot of time, sweat and dedication, and part of their appeal was their flair. They carved out quite a reputation for themselves.”

Homewood-Flossmoor’s Kaela Mack finished 3-2 overall at the tournament, falling Friday in the fourth round of the consolation bracket.

Playing at state for a third year in a row, Joliet Catholic’s Nina Bertino fell to Sycamore’s Angelina Ye 6-1, 6-1 in the fifth round of the consolation bracket.

Bertino played doubles freshman year and as a singles player the last two seasons.

“I’m really proud of myself and of how I played,” Bertino said. “I accomplished my goal of making it to the top 32. My losses were against tough opponents and my wins weren’t easy. Definitely no coasting.”

Bertino finished 3-2 over the two days.

Joliet Catholic’s Maddie Bauer and McCoy Hutchison lost in the fifth consolation round to Neuqua Valley’s Taylor Hershey and Jessica Chen 6-1, 3-6, 6-4.

Stagg’s top doubles team, Leeza Bodnar and Silvia Kulbokas, lost a tough match in the consolation fourth round, losing to Prairie Ridge’s Natalie Favia and Mikaela McNally 6-0, 2-6, 6-3.

Bodnar and Kulbokas’ other tournament loss came to Glenbard South’s Jenna Brambora and Rachel Rettger in the second round of the winner’s bracket, a 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 defeat.

Both opponents were ranked in the top 32 doubles pairings in the state.

“The Glenbard South loss was the first of the season for Leeza and Silvia,” Stagg coach Jon Daniels said. “They just competed, and it was a match where it was too bad there had to be a loser.”

In other consolation bracket action, Lockport’s Kat Samardzija (4-2 overall) and Chicago Christian’s Lisa Chionis (4-2) both made it to the fifth round. Tinley Park’s Haley Wilcox (3-2) lost in the fourth consolation round.

In doubles play, Lockport’s Tomi Jo Mansell and Hana Khatib lost in the fourth consolation round.

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