Badminton: Lockport rolls to sectional crown
Things couldn’t have gone much better Thursday night for Lockport.
“We played exceptionally,” the Porters’ Sara Napoli said. “It was great to have this at our school and have all the support we had and to win.”
Napoli won the singles title, the Porters’ Kim Nakutis and Carlie Cisarik took the doubles crown and all four of Lockport’s entries advanced to state as the hosts rolled to the Lockport Sectional title.
The Porters finished 161/2 points. Metea Valley (101/2) was second and Plainfield East (81/2) third.
Napoli earned a 21-10, 21-18 win over Plainfield East’s Lakshmi Tatineni in the championship match.
“I finished third at sectionals last year, so to move up and win it this year is great,” Napoli said. “The key was just staying focused and making sure I kept my composure under pressure. All my practice made me as good as I am now.”
Tatineni, nonetheless, became the lone Bengal to advance to state. The top four finishers in singles and doubles qualified for the state meet, held May 10 and 11 at Eastern Illinois.
“I’ve worked really hard and I feel like I deserve at least this much,” Tatineni said. “I just want to go state and have fun this year. I’m not really worried about where I finish.”
In the doubles championship, Lockport’s Kim Nakutis and Carlie Cisarik topped Plainfield North’s Ariel Na and Jean Bernasol 21-14, 21-13.
Both Nakutis and Cisarik will be at state for the first time.
“It doesn’t seem real,” Cisarik said. “It’s really exciting.”
Nakutis said the Porters’ pair “used (the Plainfield North team’s) own game against them.”
“We were moving the ball around and we got them off focus,” she said. “They beat our No. 2 doubles team, so it was nice to be able to avenge them.”
The No. 2 doubles team — Jane Kolacki and Sydney Baltrusaitis — battled back to take third with a 21-17, 17-21, 21-14 win over Emily Dixon and Ashley Barnshaw, of Metea Valley.
Metea’s Michelle Wang outlasted the Porters’ Kelly Miotti 21-15, 18-21, 21-12 for third in singles.