Badminton: Claire Foster returns to lead Hinsdale CentralHinsdale Friday 4/29/1 Hinsdale Central's 1st doubles player, Claire Foster returns a serve during the West Suburban Conference Badminton meet. | Jerry Daliege~for Sun-Times Media
Claire Foster was a senior and co-captain for Hinsdale Central’s state championship tennis team in the fall, but the deep Red Devils could not find a spot for Foster on their state tournament team.
Foster doesn’t plan on getting left behind this spring, as she begins her third season with Hinsdale Central’s badminton team. Foster went to state last year at No. 1 doubles, and went 3-2 with former partner Konstantina Rousonel, who graduated.
Foster, a Hinsdale resident, doesn’t know what her role will be under coach Carissa Nieman this season. She can play singles and doubles.
“I’m really excited,” she said. “I’ve been playing (varsity) badminton since my sophomore year. I’m happy to be with the team.”
Foster played on the freshman team before joining varsity.
She helped lead the Red Devils to a sectional title and a tie for 13th place at the state meet. Foster was the only returning Hinsdale Central competitor to win three matches at the state meet.
Returning singles player Brina Gartlan, a junior, went 1-2 at the state meet, and senior doubles players Taylor Proudfoot and Ali Gibson went 1-2 at State as the No. 2 doubles team.
The Red Devils’ biggest loss to graduation was top singles player Kim Ziolkowski, who went 4-2 at state.
When it comes to the two sports in the offseason, Foster admits to playing more tennis.
“You would be surprised how tennis keeps you in shape for the badminton season,” Foster said.
She played doubles during the tennis season, but the Red Devils were loaded at doubles. Hinsdale Central’s two state-qualifying doubles teams went a combined 13-1 at the state meet, with Marika Cusick and Caroline Lorenzini winning two consecutive state titles.
“It’s the best feeling to be with all these girls on the varsity,” Foster said. “I am enjoying as much of the ride as I have in the past.”