Return shot: OPRF's Hannah Meyer returns a shot during Saturday's Oak Park Sectional. Meyer and doubles partner Kate McCole played vital roles in OPRF's success this season.J. GEIL/Staff Photographer

The OPRF tennis team edged Whitney Young by a mere point on Saturday to win its first sectional championship since 2006.

The Huskies received a boost from doubles pair Emma Forman and Ann Ryan, who downed Latin 6-1, 6-2 to finish third and give the team the extra point for the victory. The doubles team went 3-1 in the sectional and qualified for the IHSA State Tournament to begin this Thursday.

Others who made an impact in the sectional win and qualified for state included Samantha Schafer and Tess Trinka. Schafer finished second in singles action after battling to a three-set win in the semis but falling to Sara Kohtz of Lincoln Park 7-5, 6-0 in the finals. Trinka, who qualifies for state as a freshman, finished fourth in singles, going 2-2 on the day.

“We are peaking at the right time,” said OPRF head coach Fred Galluzzo, “to go with our fifth place finish at Prospect three weeks ago and a strong dual meet finish at the end of the season (3-1) [and now winning] this tournament.”

Galluzzo said he was impressed with the way his team hung in there and battled when the pressure was on. “Samantha made a big contribution to the team effort and to her growth as a player by fighting through that three-set win in the semis,” he said.

The Huskies garnered a score of 25, while Whitney Young finished with a 24. Payton and Latin rounded out third and fourth places respectively.

Fenwick finishes second

In another tight sectional, the Friars finished second at York on Saturday. Mia Sullivan and Maggie Saltiel finished second and third respectively in singles action and qualified for the state tournament. Audrey Keifer and Christina Janda moved on to state by finishing second at the sectional, while Catherine Joss and Julia Mastrangeli finished fourth to advance.

The Friars missed winning the York Sectional by three points, finishing second with a score of 29. York finished first with a score of 31.

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Brad Spencer

Brad Spencer has been covering sports in and around Oak Park for more than a decade, which means the young athletes he once covered in high school are now out of college and at home living with their parents...