The Riverside-Brookfield High School badminton lineup definitely will have a senior flavor this season.
Seniors Claire Shanahan, Alyssa Krivak and Zona Evans all return from the sectional lineup for the Bulldogs, who are off to a 3-0 start. Seniors Alyce Silvie and Claire Harrison also rejoin the lineup.
“The strength of our team is definitely senior leadership,” coach Dan Herbeck said. “They are the only athletes in the program that have experienced a full badminton season. They need to set the tone in practice and in matches for the younger players.”
At sectionals, Shanahan and Krivak came one doubles victory from qualifying for the state meet. Evans was 0-2 in singles, her first match going three-sets.
“We only had a handful of matches last season due to COVID, so we feel like we are starting from scratch,” Herbeck said.
This season, Shanahan is 3-0 at No. 1 singles and with Sylvie at No. 1 doubles.
There are more seniors with returnees Marisa Sandoval, Abbey Castelino and Emony Hall as well as Fiona Murray, Liv Weber, Ashly Arellano, Becky Anderson and Elaina Isenhart.
Promising sophomore Katie DeJesus is 3-0 at No. 6 singles. The rest of the singles lineup generally has been Krivak, Sylvie, Evans and Harrison at No. 2-5 singles and Castelino, Sandoval, junior Robyn Ruvoli and Hall at No. 7-10.
Other doubles pairs have been Krivak/Harrison at No. 2, Evans/DeJesus at No. 3, Sandoval/Castelino at No. 4 and Arellano/Anderson or Murray/Weber at No. 5.
Qureshi leads strong LTHS squad
Lyons Township High School returns seniors Aamina Qureshi, a 2021 state singles qualifier, Marris Carli, Katie Vespa and Andja Vojinovic from last year’s lineup that finished third in the West Suburban Conference team and second at sectionals.
Qureshi was second at sectionals and finished 2-2 at state last season. At the Hersey Invite on March 19, Qureshi won the No. 1 singles title and Carli was second at No. 2 singles. LTHS has gone 1-3-2 at two quads, beating Lincoln-Way West 6-2.
Key newcomers are juniors Aggie Driscoll and Sofia Garcia and sophomore Julia Senffner.
“Some younger girls have continued to train in the off season, but overall our program is down in numbers due to the pandemic,” coach Sue McClenahan said. “We have a great attitude and love for the game. These girls are willing to work hard to have a great season.”