State Badminton: T.F. South sits in second place after Day 1 of meet
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media May 16, 2014 8:54PM
Updated: May 17, 2014 4:45PM
Sore throats, colds, runny noses, T.F. South players certainly picked a bad time to get sick across the board.
Unfazed by some teamwide sickness, the Rebels rolled Friday during Day 1 of the state tournament.
“I think (Jessica) Gomez got us all sick,” T.F. South’s Cassie Breshock joked.
Entering Saturday’s quarterfinals at Eastern Illinois in singles and doubles, T.F. South (91/2 points) sits behind only Buffalo Grove (10 points) in the team standings.
“We started slow, singles and doubles, but by the end of the day, we looked like we were back to our normal selves,” T.F. South coach Bob Tengstrand said. “We’ve just got to do it. One more day.”
The defending state champ ion Rebels feature the top seeds in both singles and doubles, with Gomez rolling through three matches on the singles side, withe Breshock and Jenna Pasko similarly winning three matches at doubles.
The surprise came in the form of South’s No. 2 doubles team, Paula Rodriguez and Cameron Crosby. The tandem won three matches Friday.
“Everyone looked confident and played well, and hopefully, we can avoid a train wreck like last year on the second day,” Breshock said. “We were all a little nervous coming out, but the No. 2 doubles team played great and were a big surprise.”
Gomez will play Prospect’s Kiley Walsh in Saturday’s quarterfinals. Last season in the third-place match, Gomez tore the ACL in her left knee.
“It definitely feels better, but I don’t think about my knee,” Gomez said. “I felt like I didn’t play my best (Friday). All the girls have a chance, and I’ll try and take it one match at a time.”
One match away from advancing to Saturday’s quarterfinals, both Lincoln-Way Central’s No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles team fell short Friday.
Seeded No. 5-8, Jana Mudrock fell to Prospect’s Walsh 12-21, 24-22, 21-12 in a third-round match. On the doubles side, Maria Brown and Margaret Kolyvas lost to Prospect’s Jessica Hirsh and Stephanie Venturelli 21-10, 21-14.
“There’s just that whole other level of play at state,” Central coach Liz Karales said. “The girls played great, and they were both close games.”
Mudrock, Kolyvas and Brown regrouped, winning their next two matches on the consolation side. They all will play Saturday in the fifth consolation round gunning for a shot at fifth-place titles.
“All three girls are seniors, and I had no doubt in my mind they would bounce back,” Karales said. “They have had state on their mind all year. It was tough with the loss, but they’re mature girls. They had to hunker down, remain focused and not let the loss get them down.”
Mudrock will play York’s Caitlin Creed while Kolyvas and Brown will take on Hinsdale South’s Madisen Curin and Sarah Prosia.
Lockport has 71/2 points and is in a four-way tie for fourth place. The Porters’ top doubles team, Jen Inczauskis and Lauren Hueckstaedt, lost in the second round but regrouped to rattle off three straight wins on the consolation side. They’ll face Neuqua Valley’s Nicole Mosier and Katherine Chung in the fifth consolation round Saturday.