Badminton: Hinsdale South wins ninth consecutive conference titleHinsdale South senior badminton player Gina Skiris competed in her final event Saturday at the West Suburban Gold meet. | George M. Wilcox~Sun-Times Media.
Updated: April 28, 2012 6:19PM
For senior Gina Skiris, going into a regular season finale such as the conference meet brings mixed emotions.
The Darien resident was happy to be a part of another West Suburban Gold championship team, but Skiris also played the final match of her career for Hinsdale South.
Out of the 15 players in Hinsdale South’s lineup at Downers Grove South Saturday, Skiris joined Lindy Wing, Ashley Yurchak and Amanda Ryle as departing seniors who will not play in the Hinsdale South Sectional, beginning Thursday.
“It was really depressing,” Skiris said. “I was happy because I’ve had such a great experience and I was sad because I have to move on from this in my life.”
Only six players from each team can compete in the sectional, which leads up to the state meet May 11-12 in Charleston. The Hornets won the New Trier Featherfest and were the runner-up at their own Hinsdale South ABCD Invitational to become a contender for their fourth state championship. Hinsdale South last titles were back-to-back in 2005-06.
Hinsdale South has one of the top singles players in the state with senior Andrea McNally and its top doubles team of Emma Adcock and Brittany DeClouette have only one loss this season entering the sectional. McNally beat Leyden’s Adrianna Sanchez for the conference’s No. 1 singles title and Adcock and DeClouette defeated Willowbrook’s Katarina Werner and Megan Christensen for the No. 1 doubles crown.
Hinsdale South coach John Charters unveiled his sectional lineup at the conference meet. All of the future sectional players won their matches: Emily Spencer at No. 5 singles and Christine Stella and Sara Devine at No. 2 doubles. Stella and Devine beat Willowbrook’s Lizz Hall and Lauren Kelley.
The Hornets (10 points) beat Willowbrook (eight) for their ninth consecutive conference title and their 13th title in 14 years. The last team to beat Hinsdale South was Willowbrook in 2003.
Hinsdale South won 11 of 15 divisions at the conference meet, taking eight of 10 titles at singles and three out of five in doubles.
Most of the seniors on the team left the conference meet as soon as it was over to prepare for prom Saturday night at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.
Skiris played badminton for four years and started as a freshman when fellow basketball players McNally and DeClouette suggested she play. Skiris quit basketball after her sophomore year, but McNally, DeClouette and Toni Romiti stayed with basketball and were starters this past season. Romiti, a junior, was a late addition to the badminton program and won a Gold title at No. 9 singles.
“Hinsdale South badminton is the best program out there,” Skiris said. “All I knew was playing badminton and we have an amazing coach. There was not one day when I didn’t want to go to practice.”
After graduation, Skiris will attend Elmhurst College this fall and plans on becoming an elementary school teacher.
Badminton became her only sport at Hinsdale South. She attended the school’s Sunday night open gyms in the offseason and went with McNally and DeClouette to the one-week camp at Eastern Illinois University last summer.
“I tell the girls, you represent a team of 16, but at the sectional or state we can only represent six people,” Charters said. “This way, everyone can say they are a conference champion.”