Buoyed by a strong showing in doubles, the Fenwick High School girls tennis team capped a successful season with a third-place finish in the Illinois High School Association Class 1A state tournament held Oct. 21-23 at Buffalo Grove High School.
The Friars tied Timothy Christian with 18 points, good enough for the program’s first-ever state trophy.
“It was a team effort. We got 12 wins in three different positions,” said Fenwick coach Gerard Sullivan. “Everyone won big matches that they weren’t supposed to.”
Fenwick’s doubles team of sophomore Trinity Hardin and freshman Megan Trifilio reached the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champions Alyssa Batcheler and Lucy Mitchell of Latin 3-6, 3-6. But the duo bounced back in the consolation bracket and made it to the final, where it lost to Macy Probst and Isabelle Hemmen of Teutopolis 1-6, 4-6 for a sixth-place finish overall.
“Megan and Trinity were not rolling over to anybody,” Sullivan said. “It was a great confidence builder for a young pair. What a great experience.”
The Friars’ other doubles team of freshman Rachel Abraham and junior Maeve Paris lost in the second round, but then ran off four consecutive victories in the consolation bracket before falling in the quarterfinals to Probst and Hemmen in straight sets. Altogether, Fenwick’s doubles teams compiled 14 points.
“Maeve was a huge factor in our team results,” said Sullivan. “Rachel had played a ton of doubles this season and came in calm and confident, but Maeve takes confidence to a different level. She just goes out there with an air about her that tells the other team “we’re not backing down from anybody.” She knows how to hang on to momentum once she gets it and works in lockstep with her partner.”
The Friars’ other points came in singles from junior Kate Trifilio. She won her first two matches before losing in the third round to Brooklyn Siegel of Wolcott in straight sets, then losing her first match in the consolation bracket in three sets to Monica Wendle of Alton Marquette.
“Kate had a great effort and a good season,” Sullivan said. “She finished in the state’s top 24, and that’s great for her.”
All five of Fenwick’s state participants return next fall, so Sullivan expects to have another strong team. He believes this experience can only help Fenwick.
“They’re not going to be going in wide-eyed [in 2022]. They’re going to know how it works,” he said. “They’ve seen the snags and bumps you’ve got to get over and they’ve learned how to get out of slumps. Next year, they need to remember the things they figured out this year and draw upon it.”
OPRF girls tennis
The Huskies’ doubles team of junior Martha Brennan and senior Raja Basma won a match and lost two at the IHSA state meet Oct. 21.
After losing their opening match in straight sets, Brennan and Basma defeated Sandburg’s Jocelyn Canellis and Neela Browne in the consolation bracket before losing their next match to Kate Herlihy and Thea Surya of Stevenson in straight sets.
Fenwick, OPRF win regional soccer titles
In the IHSA Class 3A boys soccer tournament, Oak Park and River Forest High School won a regional title Oct. 21, shutting out visiting Niles West 2-0. Two days earlier in a regional semifinal, the Huskies knocked off Maine West 5-1.
OPRF (17-3) faced host New Trier in a sectional semifinal on Oct. 26, post-press time.
In Class 2A, Fenwick won its regional title Oct. 22 with a 5-1 victory over visiting Pritzker. Jack Powers had two goals and an assist while Ryan Bero added a goal and an assist to lead the Friars.
Fenwick (9-10-4) began the state tournament Oct. 19 with a 7-0 shutout of Schurz. The Friars were scheduled to face Fenton in a sectional semifinal at ITW/Speer in Chicago on Oct. 26, post-press time.
Welin wins cross country regional title
OPRF senior Josephine Welin began her quest for a state title in good fashion with a victory at the IHSA Class 3A Lyons Township Regional.
Welin’s winning time was 17 minutes, 34 seconds and helped the Huskies advance as a team to the Hinsdale Central sectional Oct. 30. OPRF finished third as a team at the regional meet with 81 points.
In the boys Class 2A Kaneland regional, three Fenwick runners placed in the top 10 as the Friars won the team title with 44 points. Junior Grayden Rill finished third in a time of 15:28.72, sophomore Nathaniel McKillop fourth in 15:33.22 and senior Zac Daley eighth in 15:59.06.
The victory continues an impressive stretch for Fenwick, which won the Chicago Catholic League championship Oct. 16.
Bella Daley of Fenwick won the girls race in 18:06.21 with the Friars’ 117 points were good enough to advance as a team to the sectional meet. Both Friars’ teams will participate in the 2A Fenton Sectional on Oct.30.
Trinity will also advance, qualifying for the Class 2A Woodstock North Sectional. Junior Ella Miller’s seventh-place finish (19:37.31) helped the Blazers to a fourth-place finish at the Burlington Central Regional with 79 points.