Badminton: Ana Spinuzza changes focus for Oak Park
Updated: March 5, 2012 6:50PM
BADMINTON: Basketball player Ana Spinuzza turns her attention to badminton to lead OPRF this season.
For Ana Spinuzza, basketball and badminton share some common ground.
“She an athletic kid,” Oak Park-River Forest coach Jane Graham said. “I think [the two sports] are similar. On defense, you have to be able to move quickly.”
Spinuzza, a junior reserve for the girls basketball team in winter, now transitions to badminton. She is the early favorite to move into the No. 1 singles spot vacated by Leah Walters, who graduated.
The Huskies open the season at home March 12 against Oswego and competes in the Hersey Invitational March 17.
After tryouts ended last week, Graham admits it’s too early to tell if a challenger to Spinuzza’s top singles spot will surface.
“it will probably take another week to see who can compete,” Graham said.
The Huskies finished fourth in the Downers Grove North Sectional last season and was unable to send any qualifiers to the state meet. It was an up-and-down season for the Huskies, who struggle to field a consistent lineup with players encountering other commitments during the season.
OPRF returns its No. 1 doubles team of seniors Hannah Cavoto and Renee Pedigo, though there is no guarantee that they will remain together this season.
The Huskies lost three doubles players to graduation. The No. 3 doubles team of Anna Carlson and Monica Duffy is gone and senior Kristen Binder lost her partner, Sarina Donohue, from the No. 2 doubles team.
One of the Huskies’ top singles players, senior Ally Macey, has returned and will likely move up from No. 3 singles.
“We have a lot of new, incoming sophomores,” Graham said. “Everyone looks a lot stronger than they did last year. They have played hard and they have worked hard.”
One thing Graham has tried to improve is the team’s depth. Lack of depth hurt last season.
“We struggled being a good tournament squad,” Graham said. “The kids had a lot going on. We struggled in doubles portions of a tournament. In the long run, many players had not played together.”