Huntley’s players were enjoying lunch at Panera in Algonquin, thinking they’d finished at the Class 2A Cary-Grove girls’ tennis department when they received the text from Red Raiders coach Barry Wells.
The tournament, suspended after some rain, had started again. With only the semifinals and finals left and the courts now dry, the four coaches agreed they would come back.
“We all got back from Algonquin in a hurry. It was crazy, ”said Michelle Barnvos, Huntley senior. “I wouldn’t want it any other way. Loved how chaotic it was. We were all relaxed then our coach texted to come back. It really added to the day and I’ll never forget it.”
A few hours later, Barnvos and her No. 1 doubles partner, Kylie Phommasack, really had something they’ll never forget: a section championship.
Barnvos and Phommasack defeated Jacobs’ Kaya Trumbo and Lara Santa Ines 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 for the doubles.
Jacobs’ Chloe Siegfort defeated Huntley’s Ruhi Gulati 6-1, 6-0 for the singles title. Jacobs’ Isha Desai defeated Huntley’s Elaina Hibbeler 6-2, 6-4 for third place.
In third place in the doubles, Kate Larry and Katie Jannusch of CG Crystal Lake Central defeated Haley Benard and Emma Grindstaff 6-2, 6-1.
Jacobs finished with 29 team points for the first section title since 2013. Huntley (26) came second and Central (16) third.
Barnvos and Phommasack shared their two games this season with Trumbo and Santa Ines, so they expected another tough fight.
“We were so happy and wanted to be here today,” said Phommasack. “Plus, it’s (Barnvos’) last game, so we were like, ‘We’re gonna have fun. We don’t care what happens.'”
Trumbo and Santa Ines won the second set and took a 2-0 lead in the third, before the Raiders duo withdrew.
“It was a great game,” said Wells. “They had a game point to go, 3-0, and we dug and fought hard and started to get more aggressive. That was the difference. We just took over and (Barnvos) hit big hands. , but we had to dig in and start playing our game and taking it over on the net. “
There is no state tournament this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but those who played in the semifinals comforted the knowledge that they would have qualified for the state in a normal year.
Siegfort played against Gulati for the fourth time and the last two were much closer. She loved the way she finished her second season.
“I’ve changed my game plan from the last few times I’ve played her,” said Siegfort. “I just played smarter and my focus was higher this game than in the other games. I was determined to show what I was made of.”
CG’s Larry and Jannusch were excited to end their season with a win.
“It was a very nice year,” said Jannusch. “I’m really going to miss playing with Kate. I’m sorry she’s a senior and has to leave. We’ve been best friends for a long time, so that makes us better because we communicate well.”
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