BUFFALO GROVE — The New Trier girls tennis team entered the state tournament without any of its four entrants seeded among the top eight in singles or doubles.
The Trevians left Buffalo Grove High School on Friday afternoon in first place in the team standings, however, and two of its entrants have earned berths in Saturday’s state semifinals. New Trier accumulated 37 points over the first two days of state. The Trevians are currently ahead of second-place Lake Forest (35 points), third-place Hinsdale Central (33) and fourth-place Stevenson (32).
New Trier jumped into first place in the standings when senior Carol Finke defeated Lake Forest senior Elizabeth Zordani 6-3, 7-5 in the championship quarterfinals. Finke was a 3-4 seed a year ago, but she lost to Hinsdale Central’s Alex Solovyev in 1-6, 6-2, 6-1 in the consolation quarterfinals.
Finke outplayed Zordani in the first set of their match, but Zordani fought back and kept the second set tight until Finke was able to break her serve.
“I’d like to say no, but it definitely did,” Finkesaid when asked if her loss to Solovyev entered her mind as she played against Zordani. “I just kept thinking to myself, ‘No regrets.’ That was the one thing — just keep going for my shots.”
Finke is scheduled to play Naperville Central sophomore Tiffany Chen, the tournament’s No. 2 seed, in the state semifinals at Buffalo Grove. New Trier sophomore Cammy Frei and senior Lily Scroeder — who beat Crystal Lake Central seniors Evelyn Youel and Jillian Wallace 6-4, 6-3 in the quarterfinals — will likely have an even tougher task Saturday morning in the doubles semifinals.
Frei and Schroeder are scheduled to play Stevenson seniors Kendall Kirsch and Alexxis Kiven, the tournament’s top-seeded doubles team, but Frei and Schroeder both said they feel they’re currently playing their best tennis of the season.
“During the state tournament, we’ve really come together as a doubles team,” Schroeder said. “We’re playing to each other’s strengths and just trying to stay positive throughout the entire match. … We’ve been working up to this moment, pretty much. (We were) working up, and now it’s just clicked.”
New Trier junior Taylor Tamblyn went 1-2 in her matches on Friday and was eliminated. Tamblyn lost 6-0, 6-3 to Glenbrook South junior Annemarie Emme — the Titans junior then lost 6-3, 6-1 to Hinsdale Central freshman Isabella Lorenzini in her quarterfinal match — in her first match of the day. She then defeated Warren junior Alex Mella 7-5, 2-6, 6-1 in the sixth round, but lost to Lake Forest sophomore Christina Zordani 6-3, 6-3 in the pair’s seventh-round match.
Lake Forest still has a chance to overtake New Trier for the team championship because three of its four entrants remain alive. The doubles team of senior Victoria Falk and junior Colleen Morris have made the most surprising run for the Scouts. The pair was a 17-32 seed entering the tournament, but Falk and Morris beat Hinsdale Central freshmen Danielle Burich and Erika Oku 6-4, 6-2 to earn a berth in the state semifinals. Falk and Morris are scheduled to play Oak Park-River Forest junior Taylor Arends and senior Tess Trinka, the tournament’s No. 2 seed in doubles, on Saturday morning.
Stevenson junior Zoe Manion is still alive in the consolation draw, as too is the Patriots’ doubles team of juniors Kaylin Dong and Michelle Tulchinskay. Both went 2-1 on Friday to reach the consolation quarterfinals.