The 2014 IHSA Girls Tennis State Finals will unfold on Thursday, Friday & Saturday, October 23-25. The finals will be played at numerous high school courts throughout suburban Chicago, with Buffalo Grove High School serving as Tournament Central and hosting all Saturday matches.
The IHSA Girls Tennis State Finals, which date back to 1972, saw history unfold a year ago when two teams tied for the team state championship for the first-time ever. Hinsdale Central and Lake Forest both tallied 39 team points, resulting in both schools returning home with first-place trophies. Hinsdale Central has now won at least a share of the state title in six of the past eight seasons (2006-09, ’11, ’13), while Lake Forest is only other school to win a state championship in that timeframe, as the Scouts were crowned outright champs in 2010 and 2012.
Interestingly enough, neither of the perennial powers has the top seed in the singles or doubles tournament this season. That could open the door for a program like New Trier (3rd in 2013), Stevenson (4th) or Lyons (6th) to make a title run of its own, as all three contenders join Hinsdale Central this year with a maximum of four qualifiers.
Naperville Central’s Tiffany Chen (pictured above) returns to defend her singles state title in 2014, as the junior looks to become the 11th individual in state history to win multiple career singles titles.
Chen bested Hinsdale Central’s Isabella Lorenzini (6-3, 7-6) in last year’s title match. Lorenzini, who reached the finals in 2013 as a freshman, will be the No. 3 seed in the tourney this season. Carmel senior Brienne Minor grabbed the No. 2 seed, as she tries to follow in the footsteps of her older sister, Jasmine, who was the state singles champion as a senior in 2010.
No. 4 seed Meg Kowalski of Lyons hopes to follow Lorenzini’s path and reach the finals as a freshmen, while also becoming the first freshmen singles state champ since Morgan Park Academy’s Jerricka Boone in 2009.
Glenbrook South senior Anemarie Emme is the No. 5 seed after reaching the consolation finals last season, while Stevenson senior Kendall Kirsch (No. 7 seed) hopes to follow her doubles state title last year with similar singles success this season.
Warren junior Karyna Bihel (No. 6) and Palatine freshman Asuka Kawai (No. 8) round out the seeded singles players.
In doubles play, if the seeds hold true, the state championship match will be an all-Stevenson affair. Stevenson senior Kaylin Dong and freshman Zoe Taylor earned the top seed, while junior Vinaya Rao and freshman Katherine Harvey are the No. 2 seed. Doubles pairs from the same school have faced off in the state title match four times in tournament history, with New Trier accomplishing the feat each time (1981, 1984, 1987, 1990).
Hinsdale Central returns senior Rugile Valiunaite and sophomore Erika Oku. Both were part of teams that reached at least the semifinals of the consolation bracket last year. Both also welcome in new state final partners this season, as Valiunaite and junior Sandra Keta drew the No. 3 seed at the state finals, one seed ahead of Oku and freshman Stephanie Dolehide.
Of the ranked doubles teams in the 2014 field, only one tandem, Homewood-Flossmoor senior Timara Maxwell and junior Sophia Osabuohien, played together in the state tournament a year ago. The pair reached the quarterfinals of the consolation bracket last season and enter the weekend with the No. 6 seed.
Pairs from Edwardsville (Mallory Albert-Megan LaRose), Glenbrook South (Jessica Chepurda-Martina Dragoytchev) and Glenbrook North (Colette O’Regan-Catherine O’Regan) round out the seeded teams in doubles action.
43rd year of State Series
Buffalo Grove High School
Barrington High School
Conant High School
Elk Grove High School
Fremd High School
Hersey High School
Hoffman Estates High School
Palatine High School
Prospect High School
Rolling Meadows High School
Schaumburg High School
Wheeling High School
Thursday, October 24
All matches - 8:00 am *
Friday, October 25
Consolation - 8:00 am *
Championship - 9:00 am *
Saturday, October 26
Consolation - 8:00 am
Championship - 9:00 am
* Suspended matches will be played at a site and time TBA by tournament managers
There is no charge for admission at this event
A highlight package from the tournament will be posted on www.IHSA.tv in the days that follow the tournament.
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