Devils, Warriors and Tigers Send 6 to State
Silvestri, Jim, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Jim Silvestri Daily Herald Staff
The state badminton meet starts today and concludes Saturday at New Trier High School in Winnetka. Players from 12 area schools are represented in the meet, including six each from Hinsdale Central, Willowbrook and Wheaton Warrenville South.
- Hinsdale Central heads into the state meet with one important intangible on its side: experience. Red Devils coach Nancy Ahitow ushers in a pair of singles players - one, Kelly Quinn, making her second state appearance - and two doubles tandems with two state returnees, Shruthie Reddy and Lisa Dehaan.
Amid all the school's qualifiers, whose racket does the fifth-year coach rest her utmost faith? Quinn (29-7), who emerged victorious in the singles championship match of the Hinsdale Central sectional.
"Last year she made it to the quarters and we hope to go beyond that," Ahitow said. "Kelly is beating everybody.
"She has my two doubles teams playing against her and she still beats them."
Reddy and Leslie Marzec (15-13) and Dehaan and Sandy Sfikas (3-1) comprise the aforementioned doubles teams, which are two duos situated on opposite ends of the experience spectrum, but both loaded with potential.
"They have the talent to go pretty far, it's just depending on whether they play smart on the court," Ahitow said.
Season-long partners Marzec and Reddy may own a slight advantage in the collective intelligence department on the court over Dehaan and Sfikas, whom they defeated for the sectional doubles championship.
The latter duo, assembled right before sectionals, probably possesses the enigmatic edge: However, they don't know how they will play - and neither does their opposition.
"The team that gets them (Dehaan-Sfikas) will have no idea how to play them," Ahitow said.
Similarly, no player will know how to approach Megan McDonald, whose somewhat-surprising third-place finish in the sectional propelled her to state.
"It depends on the draw," said Ahitow about the senior's chances of advancing far in the meet. "Some days she plays real great and some days she doesn't. She's an on-and-off player. We told her to win at least one on the main draw and start attacking the back draw. …