Girls Tennis: Naperville Central breaks through for sectional crownThe Naperville North doubles team of Kamile Stadalankaite (left) and Abby Boswell gather their gear to vacate the tennis court in a light rain on Saturday. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 13, 2012 9:24PM
Naperville Central won the doubles competition and took second in singles to win the team championship at Saturday’s Naperville North Tennis Sectional.
The Redhawks doubles team of Cass Goldner and Cindy Liu defeated Naperville North’s Kamile Stadalankaite and Abbie Boswell 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 for the doubles championship and freshman Tiffany Chen finished second and qualified for the state tournament as the Redhawks won their first sectional in 19 years.
Naperville Central coach Don Bonet was thrilled with the Redhawks win and had high praise for his state qualifiers and for his other sectional team members singles Sara Furukawa, and doubles Meaghan Bedigian and Maria Mihailescu, each of whom won a second-round match to give the Redhawks critical points that were needed to win the title.
“You need a full team of top players to win this tough sectional,” said Bonet. “It sure feels nice. The girls are very proud and they should be.”
Chen, who lost in the singles finals to Wheaton Warrenville South’s Keisha Clousing 6-0, 6-2, continued to impress Bonet with her skills and her demeanor.
As she has all season, Chen played beyond her years winning three matches on Friday and Saturday as she advanced to the singles finals before losing to three-year sectional champion Clousing.
“She doesn’t look like a freshman out there,” said Bonet. “She has a nice variety of shots and she has good mental toughness, which is the sign of a really good player. If she does something wrong, she just moves on. The only thing that she still has to develop is the power game that Keisha brings to the table.”
“My ground strokes were really strong and I was keeping it deep throughout the tournament,” said Chen. “But Keisha really stepped it up a level today. I had the opportunity to play against a really great player. I want to bring my game up to her level.”
According to Bonet, Goldner and Liu’s finals match against the Huskies was a lot closer than the score.
“Naperville North completely dominated the first set,” said Bonet. “Then we took the first game in the second set and then we flipped the switch and we took control. The third set had a lot of closely-contested points.”
Benet’s singles Leah Tzakis and doubles Mary Beth King and Daniella Reyes, who went to the state tournament last year, also qualified.
Metea Valley singles Kelsey Chin qualified for state for the third year in a row.
Naperville North doubles Kayla Maxson and Tiffany Oken secured their second straight state qualification.
The first four singles and first four doubles finishers in sectional qualify for the state tournament, which begins Thursday.