Tennis

High school girls tennis: Huntley wins Class 2A sectional title

Huntley girls tennis won its first sectional title in school history on Saturday in Harlem. From left: Merritt Whiteside, Kayley Roche, Alex Landman and Allison Simons.
Huntley girls tennis won its first sectional title in school history on Saturday in Harlem. From left: Merritt Whiteside, Kayley Roche, Alex Landman and Allison Simons.

With a second-place and a fourth-place finish by its two doubles pairs, the Huntley girls tennis team earned its first sectional title in school history.

Alex Landman and Kayley Roche took second in the IHSA Class 2A Harlem Sectional doubles bracket, while Allison Simons and Merritt Whiteside finished fourth.

It was enough to propel Huntley into first place with 22 points, ahead of Belvidere North (19) and Hononegah (16).

“I’m thrilled with their performance,” Huntley coach Barry Wells said. “We’ve had a great year. This is a really nice feather in the cap. We’ve come close several times before, but we’ve never gotten the team title. So it’s nice to take that home. We’ve had a great year.”

With the finishes both doubles teams earned trips to the state finals, which begin Thursday at Buffalo Grove.

Landman and Roche had been the No. 2 seed heading into the sectional. Simons and Whiteside entered unranked and pulled off a couple of wins over higher-seeded opponents.

“Just qualifying for them after not being seeded and having to play through the [seeded teams] was a great accomplishment,” Wells said.

All four athletes are seniors and first-time state qualifiers.

Class 2A Lake Park Sectional: At Roselle, Jacobs finished one point shy of a sectional title, though the Golden Eagles did qualify three athletes for state.

The senior doubles pair of Haley Steinkamp and Kylie Skepnek won the Lake Park Sectional with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Lake Park’s Nina Pasquini and Maeve Casey in the doubles final. Steinkamp and Skepnek both qualified for state last season, although they were not paired together as a doubles team.

Also punching a ticket to the state finals was Jacobs sophomore singles player Lindsay Cunningham, who finished fourth in the sectional singles bracket.

Jacobs’ 24 team points finished one shy of sectional champion Lake Park.

Class 2A Stevenson Sectional: At Lincolnshire, Cary-Grove’s Bethany Marshall finished fourth and qualified for the state finals. The Trojans finished second overall as a team, while Stevenson won the sectional.

Also finishing fourth and qualifying for state was C-G’s doubles pair of Katie Sowa and Liz Barrett. Marshall, Sowa and Barrett are all first-time state qualifiers.

Class 1A Antioch Sectional: At Antioch, Johnsburg’s Abbie Cittadino and Kamile Alkasaite won the sectional title in the doubles bracket, both qualifying for state. The Skyhawks finished third overall as a team.

Also qualifying for the Class 1A state finals was Woodstock North sophomore Aly Cullotta, who finished fourth in the singles bracket. Cullotta returns to state after qualifying as a freshman last season.

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