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Undisputed champs : Sports : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
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Oswego badminton team wins fifth straight SPC title, Oswego East takes fifth

by Christine Bolin Dascher

5/8/2014

The Oswego badminton team has done it again. For the fifth consecutive year, the Panthers won the Southwest Prairie Conference tournament.

This year, the Panthers, who hosted the meet last Thursday and Saturday, entered the seven-team event with a perfect 6-0 dual league record. Oswego finished with 43 points - seven points ahead of second-place finisher Romeoville.

"The SPC is tough (but) I had a good feeling and I was confident in the girls," Oswego head coach Scott Freischlag said. "I was very happy with the outcome."

Plainfield North was third with a 33, followed by Plainfield South (28), Oswego East (16), Plainfield East (15) and Plainfield Central (0). This is the second straight year the Wolves placed fifth.

"Nobody wants to finish in fifth, but with only one senior (Pearl Fox) leaving this year, it was a good experience for our younger players and it should help them in the future," Oswego East head coach Marko Jurkovic said.

Both Oswego and Oswego East were placed in the Joliet Central Sectional. The Panthers are headed to Lincoln-Way Central with Lincoln-Way East, Sandburg and Romeoville, Plainfield Central on Thursday. Sophomores Anne Jakubowski and Sue Ellen Wieczorek will play at singles and seniors Sydney Blount (returning from an ankle injury)/ Olivia Lewis and juniors Alisa Meurer/ Annie Fish will play in doubles.

Oswego East will go to Lockport on Thursday, along with Plainfield South, Plainfield North, Bradley and Shepard. The Wolves will be taking XXXXXXx in singles and XXXXXXX in doubles.



Oswego had seven first-place finishes, six in singles. At No. 3 singles and as the No. 2 seed, Meurer won after she defeated her opponent from Romeoville, 17-21, 21-11, 21-19 in the title match.

Meurer also defeated her opponent from Plainfield Central in three sets in the first round and her opponent from Plainfield North in the second round in three sets.

"It was a good battle all the way through," Freischlag said. "It came down to the wire and was a great bout for both girls."

Fish, the No. 1 seed, won No. 4 singles after defeating her opponent from Plainfield North, 21-13, 17-21, 21-17. She received a bye in the first round and topped her opponent from Plainfield South in the next round in two sets.

"These two (Fish and Plainfield North's Brooke Conzachi) have gone toe-to-toe since freshman year," Freischlag said. "It was a great match to watch, and the whole gym was really into it."

Oswego junior Cali Bonie, the No. 1 seed, won at No. 5 singles after she beat her opponent from Romeoville, 21-16, 21-12. To get there, she received a bye in the first round and topped her opponent from Plainfield North in three sets.

"She's been at No. 5 singles the whole season, and it was a convincing win," Freischlag said.

Junior Lauren Tadych, the No. 3 seed from Oswego, won at No. 7 singles after the 22-20, 21-15 victory over her opponent from Plainfield North. To get to the title match, she defeated opponents from Plainfield Central and Romeoville in the first and second rounds, both in two sets.

"At the beginning of the season, she had to compete for six and seven singles, and she went in and did a good job for us," Freischlag said.

Oswego sophomore Ashley Bossler, the No. 2 seed, won at No. 9 singles after she topped her opponent from Romeoville, 21-16, 21-13. To get to the title match, she beat both opponents from Plainfield Central and Plainfield North in the first and second rounds.

"She showed a lot of heart and desire in the win," Freischlag said.

Morgan Novak, an Oswego sophomore seeded second, won No. 10 singles after she beat her opponent from Romeoville, 9-21, 21-9, 21-18 in the title match. She got there by defeating her opponent from Plainfield East in the first round and junior Aileen Garcia from Oswego East (21-13, 21-13) in the second round.

"She brought her A game and did a good job," Freischlag said. "That was exciting to see a sophomore on varsity step up like that."

The first-place finish in doubles for Oswego was at No. 5 with Tadych/junior Elizabeth White, who were the top seed. After receiving a bye in the first round, they went on to defeat their opponents from Plainfield East in the second round and their opponents from Plainfield South, 21-19, 19-21, 21-19 in the title match.

"That was a battle right there," Freischlag said. "They have never played together, and they were put together at the last minute. It was awesome to see what they could do."

Bossler and Novak teamed up at No. 4 doubles and ended up placing second overall after they were seeded second. Their opponent from Plainfield North defeated them, 21-11, 21-19 in the title match. To get there, they beat both opponents from Plainfield East and Plainfield South.

"It was a back-and-forth battle with Plainfield South (which won, 21-19, 12-21, 21-16), but in the end, it just didn't fall their way against Plainfield North," Freischlag said. "They did a good job."

Oswego finished with three third-place finishes. Jakubowski beat her opponent from Plainfield South, 21-7, 21-7, in the third-place match at No. 8 singles. She received a bye in the first round and then fell to her opponent from Romeoville.

"She's done a lot of good things for the team, and she's a great young player for us," Freischlag said.

Jakubowski and senior Olivia Lewis teamed up at No. 3 doubles as the third seed and beat their opponents from Romeoville, 21-1321-7, in the third place match. To get there, they first defeated Oswego East sophomores Ibtesam Kamal/Amna Hota (21-12, 21-12) in the first round but lost to their opponents from Plainfield South in three sets.

"(Blount and Lewis) usually play together, but with Sydney out with an ankle injury, Anne stepped in," Freischlag said. "Unfortunately they couldn't get by Plainfield South (which won, 21-19, 19-21, 21-16) so they took their frustrations out on Romeoville."

Oswego junior Charlotte Benstine/Bonie placed third overall at No. 2 doubles after the two-set win against their opponents from Plainfield North. In the first round, they defeated their opponents from Romeoville but lost in the second round to their opponents from Plainfield East.

"They lost a tough battle with Plainfield East (which won, 21-12, 21-18), but had a nice bounce-back win against Plainfield North," Freischlag said.

Oswego East saw junior Leena Hwang win first place in two events. As the top seed at No. 1 singles, she won in the title match after she defeated her opponent from Plainfield South, 21-16, 21-8. She received a bye in the first round before beating her opponent from Romeoville in three sets.

As part of a doubles team with freshman Annie Carmody, they won No. 2 doubles after beating their opponents from Plainfield East, 21-16, 21-13. They received a bye in the first round before the two-set victory over their opponent from Plainfield North.

"Leena has been plan playing extremely well so I'm not surprised to see her win (at No. 1 singles)," Jurkovic said. "Leena and Annie have some experience working together in tennis, so Leena took Annie under her wing this year and it was good to see them finish off their doubles season on top."

Oswego East's other first-place finisher was Fox at No. 2 singles. She was seeded first and after receiving a bye in the first round, she beat her opponent from Plainfield East in the second round and her opponent from Plainfield South in the title match, 13-21, 21-17, 21-12.

"Pearl has really stepped up her game this year, and going out with a title at No. 2 was great," Jurkovic said.

Carmody also placed fourth overall at No. 4 singles after she first topped her opponent from Plainfield Central, lost in the second round to her opponent from Plainfield North and fell in the third-place match to her opponent from Plainfield South in three sets.

"Annie has done a good job during the year as a freshman and has adjusted well to the speed of the game," Jurkovic said. "Annie will be a key player over the next few years, so it was great to see her have some success so early on in her high school career."

The sectional will be followed by the state tournament, which will be held May 16-17 on the campus of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.




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