Hinsdale Central duo gets top seed for state meet
Updated: October 18, 2011 6:48PM
Area coaches have given Hinsdale Central’s doubles team of Marika Cusick and Caroline Lorenzini the No. 1 seed at the state meet. Now it’s time for the juniors to show it.
The state meet begins Thursday in the Northwest suburbs and Cusick and Lorenzini continued to roll by winning the Hinsdale Central Sectional final Saturday against Nazareth’s Alysa Straub and Alexia Petrovic, 6-1 6-2.
Straub and Petrovic, which finished fifth in last year’s state meet, earned a top eight seed in pairings announced Tuesday by the IHSA.
Cusick and Lorenzini (24-1), the defending state champions, open the state tournament Thursday against Illiana Christian’s Lynnae DeJong and Rachel Blaauw at Elk Grove. Cusick and Lorenzini hope to become Hinsdale Central’s first repeat doubles champions since Courtney Dolehide and Nida Hamilton (2006-07) and the school’s third repeat doubles champions joining Anne Hutchens and Vicki Shields from 1979-80.
If Cusick and Lorenzini win another state title, they would become the ninth doubles team from Hinsdale Central to win a state crown.
Cusick and Lorenzini were the No. 2 seed heading into last year’s state meet. This year’s No. 2 seed is Tracey and Amy Kuhle of Decatur St. Teresa.
Hinsdale Central’s other doubles team of seniors Kristy Hamilton and Jackie Altansarnai earned a top eight seed after beating Hinsdale South’s Emma Adcock and Kim Warpecha, 2-6, 7-5, 6-1, for third place at the sectional.
“There is a lot of pressure, but we’re pretty excited,” Cusick said. “We talk about it all the time. We look forward to it. It’s going to be fun.”
Cusick said her parents have told her the first day of the state tournament could be as windy as the sectional. She said the rest of the tournament is expected to have calmer weather.
“It was hard to serve (at the sectional),” Cusick said. “When the ball was up in the air, it kind of moved.”
Hinsdale Central (32 points) won its 26th consecutive sectional title and 28th overall. Hinsdale Central will attempt to win its 13th state title, including last year’s first under coach Robin Kramer.
The Devils duo is using a different strategy compared to last year’s state tournament.
“I think we’re trying to forget last year and start fresh,” Cusick said. “We’re treating it like a completely new year. Last year didn’t exist.”
Hamilton and Altansarnai open the state meet against Ashley Randazzo and Kate Lesswing of St. Charles North at Barrington.
Hinsdale Central’s top singles player, sophomore Alex Solovyev, earned a 5-8 seed and will play Peoria Notre Dame’s Maureen Lawless in her opener at Palatine.
Junior Tiffany Chen, a 17-32 seed, opens against Centralia’s Rachel Tockstein at Prospect. Both Solovyev and Chen will be making their state tournament debuts.
“I’m very excited,” Chen said. “The last couple of years I’ve wanted to go. The teams are so good. I did not make the top two spots (at doubles). Being at singles, there has not been as much pressure. You don’t have a partner to depend on you.”