Badminton: Hinsdale South claims sectional in dominating fashion
Updated: May 3, 2012 10:16PM
Hinsdale South’s badminton team served warning Thursday that it is ready to make a strong run at winning its fourth state championship next week.
The Hornets dominated their own sectional as they scored the maximum 18 points and had all six of their entries reach the finals.
Senior Andrea McNally won the singles title by knocking off junior teammate Emily Spencer 21-16, 21-9 in the championship match. Hinsdale South also took the top two spots in doubles, with the duo of junior Emma Adcock and senior Brittany DeClouette capturing the crown with a 21-14, 21-6 decision over senior Christine Stella and junior Sara Devine.
Hinsdale South coach John Charters called the result ‘the best-case scenario” and it didn’t surprise his players.
“I think it’s what we’ve been building towards and we can see it in practice and the intensity that we have,” McNally said. “I knew we were going to come in here and be prepared and ready to go.”
McNally (49-4) is a likely top-four seed at next weekend’s state finals at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. She didn’t drop a set in any of her three matches and enjoyed her championship match against Spencer (30-15), who edged Lincoln-Way Central’s Marissa Lee 21-18, 6-21, 21-18 in the semifinals.
“I think it’s more fun because we’re both really competitive, so it meant so much to play her,” McNally said. “I’m confident in my playing right now, so that always helps when you’re going into state. We still have four days of practice and those four days can be huge. I’m confident in our ability to keep improving even up to the [first day of] state.”
Adcock and DeClouette made a strong case to be seeded No. 1 at state as they improved to 46-1 with three straight-set victories.
“I definitely think we’re peaking at the right time,” DeClouette said. “Me and Emma have been going strong this whole year and she’s the best doubles partner I’ve had so far in my four years here. As a team we swept the sectional so I definitely think we’re going to state strong and then we’ll do some work down there.”
This will be DeClouette’s third trip to state in doubles. Adcock is her third different partner.
“Before, I started out with my partner like halfway through the year so it was really hard for us to get in the groove,” DeClouette said. “If we had started earlier we probably would have done better at state, but this year Emma and me started from game one. We’ve been rolling the whole year so I think we have a really good chance of doing well at state.”
Stella and Devine (32-12) won the most exciting match of the tournament when they fought off eight match points to beat Lincoln-Way Central’s Veronica Baldermann and Jana Murdock 19-21, 21-18, 27-25 in the semifinals.
Baldermann and Mudrock and Lincoln-Way East’s Nadine Kahl and Caitlin Duffner also qualified for state, while Lincoln-Way East’s Megan McGregor and Lincoln-Way Central’s Marissa Lee earned the other two singles berths.