The Lyons Township High School tennis team advanced four qualifiers to the state meet, including (left to right) Mela Zimkus, Tashi Bozovic, Sophie Peto and Maggie Brejcha. | Photo By Bill Stone

Two points from elimination at the IHSA Class 2A sectional tennis tournament on Oct. 15, Lyons Township High School’s doubles team of seniors Maggie Brejcha and Sophie Peto made an incredible rally to qualify for their first girls tennis state meet.

“It was going through my mind that I wasn’t going to make state, so just to be here is awesome,” Peto said. “I still can’t wrap my head around it. I don’t even know what happened. It’s all a blur.” 

Brejcha and Peto prevailed 6-7 (3-7), 6-0, 7-5 in the quarterfinals to join LT’s other state-qualifying doubles team of senior Tashi Bozovic and Mela Zimkus with top-four LTHS Sectional finishes. 

Bozovic and Zimkus beat Brejcha and Peto 7-5, 6-0 for third on Oct. 16. Both doubles teams now advance to the Class 2A state finals, which will be held Oct. 21-23 at Buffalo Grove High School.

The Brejcha-Peto quarterfinal victory after trailing 5-3, 30-love in the third set was played at LT’s South Campus, under the lights at Spring Rock Park and completed at Score Tennis Center in Countryside after the rains came.

“It was a little crazy. It was a long match,” Brejcha said. “I’m excited to go. Things were just falling into place. Our volleys were being hit really well. Our returns were getting in.”

Bozovic and Zimkus achieved their 6-1, 6-2 quarterfinal victory at Spring Rock. 

During the COVID-affected 2020 season, Brejcha and Peto were third at sectionals but there was no state meet. In 2019, Bozovic qualified for state doubles with then-senior McKenna Sands.

“This year is a little more pressure [to qualify] but I’m more excited to play it because it’s my senior year. I’m having more fun with it than being nervous,” Bozovic said.

A newcomer to doubles, Zimkus lost her 2020 sectional quarterfinal singles match.

“I’m really excited. I’ve just never got that (state) experience,” Zimkus said. “[In Friday’s quarterfinals], me and Tashi, we were competing our best. [I thought], ‘This is how we actually play.’ We were so happy how it turned out.”

Lyons Township finished tied for second place with Hinsdale South in the team standings with 13 points behind sectional champs Hinsdale Central, who rolled to the title with 36 points.

The Riverside-Brookfield High School girls tennis team (10 points) tied for fourth in the team standings with Downers Grove North. The Bulldogs did not qualify anyone for the state meet, but were led by their doubles team of Adriana Stanovich and Olivia Dvorak and singles player Lara Huns.