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Badminton: Strong performance by T.F. South’s Gomez

Waiting for the awards ceremony at Saturday’s Lockport Invitational, T.F. South’s Jessica Gomez sat with her teammates, a bag of ice on her left knee.

The star senior still is bouncing back from tearing her left ACL last year, but she is bouncing back strong.

How strong? Gomez won the No. 1 singles title Saturday in dominant fashion, improving to 24-0 on the season, but she still feels there is room for improvement.

“I played really well, but it wasn’t my best,” Gomez said. “It was good, and I improved.”

Gomez defeated Lincoln-Way Central’s Jana Mudrock 21-15, 21-11 to take the No. 1 singles title, winning all five of her matches in just two games.

Mudrock was her only opponent to score in double-digits.

T.F. South (30 points) finished second at the 12-team Invitational. Buffalo Grove took top honors with 32 points.

As for Gomez’s performance, she feels her knee is back to where it needs to be. Bring on the postseason.

“I honestly think I’m ready for state,” Gomez said. “Win or not, I’m ready, and this season has been good for me and the preparation for it. (Jana) was really good, but my serves were working for me.”

T.F. South swept the singles levels. Cassie Breshock defeated Lincoln-Way Central’s Margaret Kolyvas 21-15, 21-11 at No. 2 singles, while Jenna Pasko beat Buffalo Grove’s Kristen McClellan 21-7, 21-4 at No. 3 singles.

While T.F. South dominated the singles side, Buffalo Grove swept the doubles, winning all four levels on the way to the invite title.

“We’ve been playing well all year, and we’ve got a solid squad,” Buffalo Grove coach Chris VanGrondelle said. “I knew walking in the door we’d be a good doubles team all the way around. We’ve got three seniors and eight underclassmen all pounding away out there. They’re doing OK.”

At No. 1 doubles, Katelyn Sommers and Julie Jambrone won 21-7, 21-13 over West Aurora’s Kerri Olson and Hiba Shahid. Maddy Berns and Madison Fortman won at No. 2 doubles over Lockport’s Lauren Hueckstaedt and Jen Inczauskis 21-13, 21-7.

Taking No. 3 doubles, Tori Appelt and Stephanie Mayer won 21-14, 21-9 over Oak Lawn’s Olivia Dankowski and Melisa Paulikova. Rounding out Buffalo Grove’s champs, Kelly Peterson and Allison McDonald won 21-13, 21-12 over Bradley’s Jenna Howard and Leann Hale.

Lockport finished third with 21 points. Bradley and Lincoln-Way Central tied for fourth (16). Lincoln-Way West and Oak Lawn tied for sixth (14), followed by Reavis (8th, 12), Lincoln-Way East and West Aurora in ninth (10), Oak Forest (11th, 6) and Plainfield East (12th, 1).



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