|The IHSA Girls Badminton State Finals will take place on the campus of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston on Friday and Saturday, May 13-14. 59 total schools are represented in the 64-team Singles and Doubles brackets. In addition to crowning Singles and Doubles state champions, schools will accumulate points with each victory, culminating with the crowning of a team state champion. Schools can qualify a maximum of six players, capped with two playing singles, and two pairs playing doubles. 14 schools enter the weekend with maximum qualifiers.
Earlier this week, a committee of coaches seeded the Top 4 players in each bracket, who are then separated into different quadrants within the bracket. The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds are set, while the two singles players/doubles tandems designated as the No. 3/4 seeds are interchangeable between the two seed positions. The committee then seeds three groups of four players (5-8, 9-12, 13-16). The players in those groupings are assigned to the remainder of the bracket, with provisions made to try and prevent players from the same high school or same Sectionals from having to matchup until as late as possible in the meet.
Neuqua Valley had never posted a Top 10 team finish in school history prior to 2015 when the Wildcats emerged to win their first team state championship behind the play of sophomore Lauren Ho and senior Eva Chen. Ho is the No. 2 Singles seed this year after placing third in the Singles field a year ago, while Chen and new partner Sophia Lee enter as the top Doubles seed. Chen placed fifth in Doubles in 2015 and is veteran on a Wildcat squad with another seeded singles player (Arthi Cunkari) and doubles tandem (Joyce Chen & Shrinithi Venkatesan) as well.
Buffalo Grove is a program hoping to hoist its first state title trophy in 2016. The Bison have placed second three times since 2010, including razor sharp runner-up margins in 2014 (16-15) and 2015 (15-14.5), when they fell by a combined total of 1.5 points. The Bison are led by the senior doubles tandem of Tori Appelt and Allison MacDonald, who earned the No. 3/4 seed.
Perennial contender Hinsdale South has won three state titles (1999, 2004, 2005) and has the makings of a trophy team again in 2016. The tournament’s top seeded singles player, junior Judy Yang, is flanked by a seeded doubles tandem (5-8) in Jacque Cameli and Caroline Lee. Cameli was a part of a tandem that placed 6th at last year’s tourney, while Yang was the state Singles runner-up in 2014 as a freshman.
Thornton Fractional South is another program you can never overlook, as the 2013 and 2014 state champs placed ninth last season and are led by the doubles pairing of Kristi Fisher and Cassie Cintron (5-8 seed).
Naperville North took home a share of the state title in 2012 and brought home another trophy last season after placing third. The Huskies Clare Jiang reached the quarterfinals of the Doubles bracket last season, and hopes to not only repeat that feat, but go beyond in 2016. Jiang and her new partner in 2016, freshman Clare Duan, earned the No. 2 seed.
Fremd has won four trophies as a program, including two state titles (2007, 2009). The Vikings placed fifth a year ago and have a full roster competing this weekend, which includes freshman Jenny Li, who was tabbed in the 3/4 Singles seed slot.
Stevenson and Lockport tied for seventh-place in the team standings a year ago and are entering 2016 with seeded players and full rosters set to compete. Stevenson junior Ashley Richardson reached the quarterfinals of the Doubles field a year ago, and will hope to use that experience to her advantage as a Singles player in 2016, where she is in the 15-18 seed grouping. Lockport’s team of seniors Jessica Miller and Haley Egelhof enter the weekend in the 5-8 Doubles seed grouping.
Two other names to watch in the Singles field are Waubonsie Valley sophomore Vaishali Manoharan and Naperville Central senior Surya Nair. Manoharan outlasted Nair in three games in last year’s fifth-place match, and edged her counterpart again in seeding this year. Manoharan is the No. 3/4 seed, while Vaishali is just behind in the 5-8 grouping. A pair of freshman round out the 5-8 seed grouping in the Singles field, as Wheaton Warrenville South’s Julianna Rylko and Hinsdale Central’s Cindy Tang were slotted in those positions. The final seeded Doubles squad in the 5-8 grouping comes from Metea Valley in seniors Girija Vaidya and Allison Yu.
40th annual State Series
Eastern Illinois University Charleston
Student Recreation Center
Friday, May 20
9:15 a.m. - Opening Ceremony
9:45 p.m. - Singles & Doubles matches begin
Saturday, May 21
9:30 a.m. - Singles Quarterfinals
10:10 a.m. - Doubles Quarterfinals
11:00 a.m. - Singles/Doubles Consolation Quarterfinals
Noon - Singles/Doubles Semifinals
1:00 p.m. - Singles Finals
1:30 p.m. - Doubles Finals
2:00 - Awards
$5 per day
QUALIFIERS & RESULTS
Results: Friday Saturday
#IHSA on Twitter
Twitter - @IHSAstate
Instagram - @IHSA_IL
Classic IHSA YouTube Video
OFFICIAL STATE FINAL
Gear from Minerva
Shuttlecocks from Wilson
Play Smart. Play Hard.
Take the PSPH pledge...
No broadcasts currently scheduled for this event
HISTORY & RECORDS
2016 State Series Results
Record Book & Past Champions