T.F. South doesn’t get down with sickness at Day 1 of state tournament

SHARE T.F. South doesn’t get down with sickness at Day 1 of state tournament

Sore throats, colds, runny noses, T.F. South’s badminton team certainly picked a bad time to get sick across the board.

But unfazed by some team-wide sickness, the Rebels rolled on Friday at Day 1 the state tournament.

“I think [Jessica] Gomez got us all sick,” T.F. South’s Cassie Breshock joked.

Heading into Saturday’s quarterfinals at Eastern Illinois in singles and doubles, T.F. South (9.5 points) sits behind only Buffalo Grove (10 points) in the team standings.

“We started slow, singles and doubles, but by the end of the day, we looked like we were back to our normal selves,” T.F. South coach Bob Tengstrand said. “We’ve just got to do it. One more day.”

The defending state champs feature the top seeds in both singles and doubles. Gomez rolled through three matches on the singles side while Breshock and Jenna Pasko similarly won three matches at doubles.

The surprise came in the form of South’s No. 2 doubles team, Paula Rodriguez and Cameron Crosby, who also won three matches in Friday’s early-round action.

“Everyone looked confident and played well, and hopefully we can avoid a trainwreck like last year on the second day,” Breshock said. “We were all a little nervous coming out, but the No. 2 doubles team played great and were a big surprise.”

Gomez will play Prospect’s Kiley Walsh in Saturday’s quarterfinals. Last season in the third-place match, Gomez tore the ACL in her left knee.

“It definitely feels better, but I don’t think about my knee,” Gomez said. “I felt like I didn’t play my best today. All the girls have a chance, and I’ll try and take it one match at a time.”

With one match standing in their way of advancing to Saturday’s quarterfinals, both Lincoln-Way Central’s No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles team fell short Friday.

Seeded No. 5-8, Jana Mudrock fell to Prospect’s Walsh 12-21, 24-22, 21-12 in a third-round match.

On the doubles side, Maria Brown and Margaret Kolyvas lost to Prospect’s Jessica Hirsh and Stephanie Venturelli 21-10, 21-14.

“There’s just that whole other level of play at state,” Lincoln-Way Central coach Liz Karales said. “The girls played great, and they were both close games.”

Both Mudrock and also Kolyvas and Brown regrouped, winning their next two matches on the consolation side and will play Saturday in the fifth consolation round, gunning for a shot at fifth-place titles.

“All three girls are seniors, and I had no doubt in my mind they would bounce back,” Karales said. “They have had state on their mind all year. It was tough with the loss, but they’re mature girls. They had to hunker down, remain focused and not let the loss get them down.”

Mudrock will play York’s Caitlin Creed while Kolyvas and Brown will take on Hinsdale South’s Madisen Curin and Sarah Prosia.

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