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Panthers remain perfect : Sports : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Panthers remain perfect
Badminton team defeats Oswego East to improve to 4-0 in SPC play

by Christine Bolin Dascher


The Oswego badminton team won eight of 10 singles matches and four of the five in doubles in the 12-3 victory over rival and host Oswego East on April 16 in a Southwest Prairie Conference outing.

"(All the wins are) exciting," Oswego head coach Scott Freischlag said. "It's exciting to go head-to-head with your rivals, and our conference is tough. It's a good victory. I'm proud of my girls - they work hard."

"From what I've seen so far, Oswego is one of the better teams in the conference," Oswego East head coach Marko Jurkovic added. "As far as we go, I've seen the girls do some good things, so we still look promising. In most of our matches, we are not getting blown out - it's a few points here and there. Hopefully, we'll see more success."

After Monday's 8-7 victory over Plainfield South, the Panthers are 4-4 overall and 4-0 in the conference.

The Wolves are 3-5 overall and 2-3 in the league after beating Plainfield East, 8-7, on Monday.

In singles action between the Wolves and Panthers, Oswego won matches No. 3 through No. 10. Winners included junior Alisa Meurer over sophomore Amber Williams (21-14, 21-15), junior Annie Fish against freshman Annie Carmody (21-15, 21-16), junior Cali Bonie over sophomore Ibtesam Kamal (21-17, 21-5) and junior Lauren Tadych against sophomore Amna Hoda (21-10, 21-19).

Oswego junior Charlotte Benstine defeated Oswego East sophomore Akki Gunda at No. 7 singles (21-12, 21-17), junior Elizabeth White topped junior Hibah Rehman at No. 8 (21-9, 21-12), sophomore Anne Jakubowski beat sophomore Prerana Mitta at No. 9 (21-11, 25-23) and at No. 10, sophomore Ashley Bossler defeated junior Maria Bernard (21-12, 21-8).

Oswego East's two wins in singles came from No. 1 junior Leena Hwang over Oswego senior Sydney Blount (21-11, 21-8) and senior Pearl Fox over senior Olivia Lewis at No. 2 (21-16, 19-21, 21-12).

"(Hwang and Fox) are the go-to ladies with the most experience on the team," Jurkovic said. "They performed like I expected. They've definitely stepped up their game in the past few weeks."

In doubles for Oswego, Blount/Lewis at No. 1 defeated Fox/Williams, 21-18, 21-19. At No. 3, Benstine/Bonie beat Kawal/Hoda, 21-6, 21-15. At No. 4, sophomore Morgan Novak/Bossler topped Bernard/Mitta, 21-16, 21-9, and at No. 5, sophomore Trisha Nickerson/Jakubowski defeated Rehman/Gunda, 23-21, 21-11.

"(Blount/Lewis) might be a sectional team I'm putting together, and the third, fourth and fifth teams we have are a good combination," Freischlag said. "We're still a young team learning the game of badminton and we came up with some wins."

The Wolves' lone win in doubles was at No. 2, when Hwang/Carmody beat Fish/Meurer, 16-21, 21-12, 21-14.

"Leena and Annie have been playing really well together," Jurkovic said. "They've been improving each week and have been doing some good things."

Oswego notes: Prior to Oswego East, Geneva defeated the Panthers, 12-3, on April 15. The Panthers' winners were Tadych at No. 6 singles (21-19, 24-22), Jakubowski at No. 10 singles (21-9, 21-13) and Jakubowski/Nickerson at No. 5 doubles (21-13, 21-12).

"They are a good team," Freischlag said of Geneva. "They had six state qualifiers last year, and that's what our girls need to see. They need to see competition like that rise to the occasion."

After Oswego East, the Panthers were a part of Glenbard South's Raider Invite on April 19, and the result was a sixth-place finish for the Panthers.

Fish at No. 2 singles and Blount/Lewis at No. 1 doubles placed third overall. Jakubowski at No. 3 singles and Bossler/Novak at No. 3 doubles placed fourth. Nickerson at No. 4 doubles and Bonie/Tadych at No. 2 doubles placed sixth.

Against Plainfield South on Monday, Lewis (21-19, 21-11), Meurer (21-15, 21-9), Novak (21-16, 21-12) and Jakubowski (21-8, 21-18) won in singles whole Blount/Lewis (21-18, 21-14), Fish/Meurer (21-7, 21-9), Bossler/Novak (21-15, 19-21, 21-14) and Jakubowski/Tadych (20-22, 21-17, 21-11) won in doubles.

Oswego celebrated Senior Night hosting Plainfield Central on Wednesday, but results were not available at press time.

On Friday, the Panthers will be at Glenbard South for a 4:30 p.m. non-conference outing, followed by Saturday's DeKalb Invite and Monday's final conference dual meet of the season at Plainfield North at 4:30 p.m.

Oswego East notes: Against Plainfield East, winners in singles were Hwang, Kamal, Carmody, Mitta and Garcia. The doubles winners were Hwang/Carmody, Kamal/Hoda and Mitta/Gunda.

The Wolves were scheduled to take on Plainfield North on Wednesday, but results were not available at press time.

Oswego East will be at Hoffman Estates' Invite on Saturday. That will begin at 9 a.m.

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