The Oak Park-River Forest and Fenwick High School girls tennis teams performed about as expected in sectional tournament action over the weekend. Overall, OPRF qualified six players while Fenwick advanced three players for the state tournament.

The sectional host Huskies tied Latin for most points (28); however, the Huskies won the team title via tiebreaker because OPRF had four state qualifiers.

 Latin claimed the top matches, however, courtesy of strong performances from singles champion Alessandra Bianco and doubles champion Miya Coleman and Kendall Sievewright. Led by singles runner-up Laura Gutierrez, Fenwick placed third in the team standings with 22 points.

OPRF senior Taylor Arends finished third in singles by cruising past teammate Hannah Gibson 6-2, 6-2 in the third-place match. OPRF juniors Peyton Schafer and Maya Trinka paired to finish as the doubles runner-up, losing to the aforementioned sectional champs (Coleman/Sievewright) from Latin 6-2, 6-1. Coleman and Sievewright didn’t drop a set the entire weekend.

In the third-place doubles match, the Huskies’ Audrey Angelos and Anna Rossa defeated Rylee Brennan and Anna Sprajcer of Fenwick 6-4, 6-2.

Arends, who finished as the state runner-up in doubles with teammate Tess Trinka in 2013, praised her teammates’ performance in doubles.

 “Our doubles teams looked really good,” Arends said. “I got to see Audrey and Anna qualify [Friday]. They fought through that match really well. I also watched Peyton and Maya play some great matches.”

Gutierrez was also impressed by her teammates’ play, along with the entire field of players.

“I’m so proud of my team,” she said. “There’s no one single player who stands out because our team is just so solid. It’s such an exciting atmosphere to compete in.”

 “We’ve had such strong opponents throughout the weekend. Every team was really ready to compete and had such solid players. I respect Alessandra [Bianco] so much because we are training partners. I was excited to play against her. Tennis is her main passion and focus and I really respect that.”

Gutierrez lost 6-1, 6-1 to Bianco in the singles championship match. Bianco advanced to the final by edging Arends 7-6, 6-3 in the semifinals.

Although Gutierrez competed at the sectional with a back injury, she’s optimistic about entering the upcoming state tournament at full strength.

 “I’m not at my 100 percent,” Gutierrez said. “I’m focused on this week to get back to 100 percent in such a short amount of time. I’ve been going to the chiropractor and consulting with my doctor every day.”

As for Arends, who lost to Gutierrez 7-6, 7-5 during the Huskies’ 4-3 regular season win over Fenwick, her third-place sectional match victory against Gibson provided a good tune-up for both Huskies with the state tournament on the horizon.

 “We were just having fun out there,” Arends said. “It’s also good practice for us. Hannah and I have been paired up in singles practice this week and we play each other in practice a lot in general.

 “I’m going to continue to improve my net game. I was really good with the net today, and that’s a huge part of my game because of playing doubles last year. I’ll keep working on that as well as my baseline game.”

OPRF Sectional (girls tennis)

OPRF Sectional

Team scores: OPRF 82, Latin 82, Fenwick 22, Morton 6, Francis Parker 4, Lincoln Park 4

Singles final: Bianco (Latin) d. Gutierrez (Fenwick) 6-1, 6-1); Doubles final: Coleman/Sievewright (Latin) d. Schafer/Trinka (OPRF) 6-2, 6-1

Local state qualifiers: OPRF: Arends, Gibson, Schafer, Trinka, Angelos, Rossa. Fenwick: Gutierrez, Sprajcer, Brennan

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