Lyons girls tennis coach Bill Wham thought he had a pretty good idea what he was getting when he paired up senior Megan Hickey and junior Stefana Vasic three weeks into the season to be the Lions’ No. 1 doubles team.
“If you would have told me they would win the first three rounds of state I wouldn’t have been happy — I would have been ecstatic,” Wham said. “I thought they could be a pretty good team but they didn’t start that way. They had a loss to Homewood-Flossmoor early on that was a weak loss.”
The duo felt confident they could have a good season when they were first paired up.
“Megan has the serve and I have the volleys and we just work really well together,” Vasic said. “When I’m down, she knows how to pick me up. Without that we would be lost as a team but she gets me back on track, which is exactly what I need in a doubles partner.”
Hickey and Vasic wound up surprising everyone.
Issued a 9-16 seed for the IHSA tournament, Hickey and Vasic won their first five matches, advancing all the way to the semifinals before losing twice to place fourth.
Their marquee win came in the fourth round when they defeated the favorites, Stevenson’s Zoe Taylor and Kaylin Dong 6-3, 2-6, 7-5.
“We would always mess around with each other saying we’re going to win state,” Vasic said. “Then we saw the draw and that we would have to beat the (No.) 1 seed. We just said, ‘Whatever. We’re going to win.’ ”
“I think we were the only ones that believed we could win that match,” Hickey said. “Going in everyone else figured, ‘Oh [Taylor and Dong ] are going to win state. They’re so good.’ We knew we just had to come in and not be nervous because we had nothing to lose. They had all the pressure.”
Hickey and Vasic then knocked off Glenbrook North’s Colette O’Regan and Catherine O’Regan, who were seeded 5-8.
The magic ran out in Saturday’s semifinal as they fell to a couple pairs from Hinsdale Central.
“Coming into Saturday, we weren’t complacent with just being here,” Hickey said. “We wanted to go out there and do our best, but I’m still proud we got fourth place. It was much higher than our seed and much higher than anyone expected. We came out here and played our best.”
Vasic is already fretting about what she’s going to do her senior season.
“I can’t imagine playing with anyone else, so next year is going to be rough,” Vasic said. “The only thing I can do is try and come back and do better than this year.”