Girls Tennis: Stagg’s Pamphilis wins conference title at No. 1 singles
By Jeff Vorva For Sun-Times Media October 12, 2013 9:26PM
Nicole Pamphilis, of Stagg, captures first place at No. 1 singles at the SouthWest Suburban Conference meet. | Jeff Vorva/For Sun-Times Media
Stagg junior Nicole Pamphilis said she treats tennis as a job.
While she admits she has no dreams of playing professionally, she is seeking a chance to play at the next level in college.
“I wanted to get a job over the summer — maybe at a restaurant,” she said. “But I said to myself that tennis is my job so I’ve been focusing in on that.’’
Pamphilis received some on-the-job training her first two years as she was a two-time SouthWest Suburban Conference champion at No. 2 singles and two-time state qualifier.
The Palos Park resident was given a promotion of sorts when she was bumped into the No. 1 singles slot, and the second-seeded Chargers star knocked off No. 1 seed Allison Lessner, of Homewood-Flossmoor, 6-2, 6-1 Saturday at the SouthWest Suburban Conference meet in Lockport. Pamphilis avenged last week’s 6-2, 6-0 loss to Lessner.
Pamphilis said she is receiving college interest from Millikin, Vassar and others across the country. A solid run in the state tournament could turn a few more heads. She has enjoyed success on the United States Tennis Association circuit, and said she has been ranked as high as 119th in the Midwest out of more than 5,000 players.
Despite the loss at No. 1 singles, Homewood-Flossmoor easily won its fourth straight conference title, racking up 37 points. Sandburg claimed second with 25, Lockport had 22 and Stagg 21. Joliet’s co-op team and Bolingbrook were shut out.
Two years removed from a fifth-place finish in the state, the electricity buzzing around H-F is the players believe they have what it takes for a top-three finish in the state tournament. The Vikings have won 28 straight sectional titles and their dominance Saturday kept their confidence soaring.
H-F freshman Haleigh Porter won the No. 2 singles crown.
In doubles action, H-F continued to flex its muscles as Sophia Osabuohien and Timara Maxwell took the No. 1 title, while Kaela Mack and Brittany Henry won at No. 2 doubles and Maya Sykes and Julia Wenckus claimed first at No. 3.
“The doubles players are jelling at the right time,” H-F coach Don Baron said. “They are aggressive and that’s the way you have to be at this time of the year. I’m encouraged by that. They were solid today. No. 1 doubles played with some spirit. You want to peak at the right time.’’
Sandburg’s Caroline Kruszecki won the No. 3 singles title, while Lockport’s Tara Shingler and Allison Stoch were conference champions at No. 4 doubles.