With all six senior state qualifiers gone from last season’s team, Lockport coach Denise Hadley started the 2014 campaign with a blank slate.
The Porters had talent in the wings, but it was on them to step up and embrace their roles. Three weeks into the season, Hadley has liked what she’s seen out of her team.
Lockport finished third overall at its own 12-team invitational this weekend.
“We’re young,” Hadley said. “This is a hard-working group, and they’ve got a good attitude. I can see the sectional team developing, and we’re just working for that consistency.”
Sophomore Jessica Miller has played well at No. 1 singles, while seniors Araceli Lozano and Marisol Onate have been a mainstay as the No. 1 doubles team.
Jen Inczauski also has played well for the Porters, playing at No. 2 doubles Saturday with Lauren Hueckstaedt.
“Jessica is doing a good job, and she expects more out of herself, which is great, but she can’t beat herself up,” Hadley said. “This game is (all about) experience.”
Miller was fourth in No. 1 singles Saturday.
The IHSA has announced postseason assignments, and the three Southland schools will be mixing it up with five other teams at the Wheaton Warrenville South Sectional at 7 p.m. May 7.
The road to the state championships will be difficult for the Lincoln-Way co-op, the Andrew/District 230 co-op and Homewood-Flossmoor.
The State Gymnastics Stats website seeded the state’s 45 competing teams, and the Wheaton co-op is seeded first. Also in the sectional are Naperville North, seeded eighth, and Naperville Central, seeded 10th.
Lincoln-Way is seeded 33rd, District 230 is seeded 38th and Homewood-Flossmoor 44th by the website based on scores through Tuesday.
▪ The still rings still were not available at Homewood-Flossmoor’s refurbished North gym Tuesday in a meet against District 230. District 230 was awarded 30 points for that event and the Vikings received no points. District 230 won 116.3-51.1.
They didn’t give out medals or plaques for comedy Saturday at the Bremen Tournament. If they did, Hillcrest’s David Holden probably would have brought home some hardware for some of his quips.
Holden won two matches on the day but when he faced the two top singles players in the tourney, he was full of funnies.
During a setback to Rich Township co-op’s Frank Sterling Jr., Holden told a newspaper photographer “Make sure you get my good side,” during a changeover.
During a loss to eventual tourney champ Miguel Rayos Del Sol, of Romeoville, Holden tried returning a wicked serve that knocked the racket out of his right hand. “Oh, man, that’s a great serve,” he yelled to his opponent. “That one hurt. I’m going to have to play lefty.’’
A few minutes later, Holden turned to some of the fans and said, “Forget trying to win the match. I just want to win a game.’’
Girls Water Polo
The IHSA recently released sectional assignments, and there are plenty of intriguing potential postseason match-ups for Southland teams.
The Lincoln-Way Central Sectional figures to be wide open, with a Lincoln-Way East squad having a breakout season shaping up to be one of the favorites.
The Griffins are 9-1 after finishing 12-16 last season and have been scoring at will, including an 18-7 win over rival Lincoln-Way North.
While Lincoln-Way East has its sights set on its first trip to state since 2009, Andrew — also in the Lincoln-Way Central Sectional — is looking for its first state berth. The Thunderbolts are 8-3.
The two upstarts will try to overcome a field that also includes defending state runner-up Lincoln-Way Central and Marian Catholic, among others.
There has to be a host announced for the other sectional featuring area teams, though Stagg has hosted a sectional with a similar field the last two years. Area powers Mother McAuley, Sandburg and Bremen co-op will duke it out there.