State Badminton: Olson caps off comeback year with Andrew
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media May 12, 2012 11:14PM
Updated: July 12, 2012 1:44AM
Losing a semifinal match at Saturday’s state badminton tournament, Andrew’s Renee Olson could have folded up heading into the third-place match.
But considering the year Olson was coming off, that wasn’t about to happen.
Last season, a week before sectionals, the then-junior dislocated her kneecap, an injury that ended her season.
Olson regrouped from her semis loss, defeating Wheaton-Warrenville South’s Rachel Anderson 21-16, 21-8 in the third-place match.
“Renee is definitely one of the top players in the state,” Andrew coach Mandee Wettergren said. “She trained year-round to come back stronger and ready to play. That’s just the type of player she is.”
Olson won five matches this weekend at Eastern Illinois to help Andrew to a sixth place finish with 10.5 points, tying T.F. South.
All five of Olson’s wins came in two games including a dominating performance in the third place match.
“That last match was the hardest and best she played all tournament,” Wettergren said. “Renee really picked it up and played much more like herself.”
The third-place individual finish was the highest for Andrew badminton since Kate Fitzgerald and Lindsay Kamphuis finished third in doubles in 2009.
Also pulling out a third-place finish was T.F. South’s doubles team of Shannon Pollard and Jenna Pasko. The duo fell to eventual state champ Brittany DeClouette and Emma Adcock of Hinsdale South in the semis.
Pollard and Pasko turned it around, winning 21-13, 21-18 over Reavis’ Marissa Mangala and Dena Zayed in the third place match.
Coming off a fifth-place finish last season, Sandburg’s Kara Kentner was upset in Friday’s second round and moved into the consolation bracket.
The senior won four matches before falling 21-19, 21-19 in the consolation quarters to Fremd’s Annie Huang.
After winning three matches Friday, Lockport’s doubles team of Becca Krzyszkowski and Amy Benes struggled Saturday, dropping both of their matches.
The senior tandem lost to Fremd’s Kelly Owens and Ji Young Seo 21-19, 21-13 in the consolation quarters.