Lyons Township High School junior girls tennis players Mia Graziano and Ginny Gibbs gained more than a third-place No. 1 doubles victory in their return to the West Suburban Conference Silver Division Meet Saturday.
The Lions’ 6-4, 6-3 victory over Oak Park and River Forest’s Kathryn Meister and Anika Gupta means more confidence heading into this week’s Hinsdale Central Sectional. LTHS lost in straight sets in the dual meet.
“Sophomore year was our first year wholly on varsity and then we jumped to No. 1 in doubles. That was a little overwhelming,” Gibbs said. “Now this year we’re No. 1 doubles veterans and we understand the type of competition that we have to play against and how to go against adversity for that.”
The Lions finished fourth at the meet (22 points) and in the final overall standings after going 3-3 in duals.
Carolina Deuter and Rhia Nagale were second at No. 4 doubles, losing to Hinsdale Central’s Laima Marchertas and Anika Sarai 6-3, 6-3 in the final.
Vivian Kittridge (No. 3 singles) also was third, Maddie Rowen and Ashley Culin (No. 2 doubles) and Sarah Crowe and Camille Woods (No. 3 doubles) were fourth, Addy Pelling (No. 2 singles) was fifth and Abby Sullivan (No. 1 singles) was sixth.
The top four singles and doubles sectional finishers advance to state. With Silver powers Hinsdale Central and York, the Lions will have to play well.
In 2022, Gibbs and Graziano and Rowen with graduated Molly Burke came one doubles victory each from state. Gibbs and Graziano lost to Hinsdale Central 6-2, 6-2 in Saturday’s semifinals.
“From last time we played them, even if we didn’t get as many games as we wanted, the points were really, really good,” Graziano said.
“I feel like last season we didn’t really talk about what we could work on. We just went into the game. Our communication has definitely gotten better as well as we talk more before and after matches.”
LTHS girls swimming and diving
Lyons Township High School swimmer Libby Langan can’t help but have her best season as a senior.
“I’m not sure because it’s my last season, but I’ve been we all just really have had so much fun together and enjoyed even the hardest parts of practice,” Langan said.
“I’ve been really happy with this season. That also goes hand in hand with how the whole team dynamic is this year. At least personally, I’m not worried about numbers and how everything looks. I think I’m just focusing on enjoying everything.”
The Lions should experience plenty of joy these next few weeks, including their first West Suburban Conference Silver title since 2017.
They secured a 5-0 dual record Thursday by beating York. They now only need a top-two finish at the Silver Meet Thursday and Friday at the LTHS south campus to at least share the overall title.
The Lions finished ahead of their top rival, Hinsdale Central, by one point at the New Trier Invite Saturday and two points at the St. Charles Invite Sept. 30.
Langan is among 16 seniors, seven of them divers. On Senior Night against Glenbard co-op Sept. 28, she swam the 500-yard freestyle.
“I haven’t done that since sophomore year so it was fun just to swim that again,” Langan said. “As a team, we just had fun. We all just kind of reminisced about our last meet. Now we have some of our groups going into taper so the team is getting smaller and smaller.”
The Lions (316 points) were second to New Trier (338) at St. Charles and set three invite records – the winning 200 free relay of Audrey Cavaliere, Libby Langan, Maeve Collins and Ella Jean Kelly (1:37.57), 400 free relay of Cavaliere, Langan, Kylie Thompson and Kelly (3:32.49) and Kelly in the 100 breast stroke (1:06.19).
LTHS went 2-3 in the 500 free with Lindsay Forebaugh (5:14.12) and Thompson (5:14.89) and 3-4 in the 100 butterfly with Collins (58.04) and Forebaugh (58.07). The 200 medley relay of Thompson, Lauren Jablonski, Collins and Cavaliere was fourth (1:49.22).
LTHS cross country
The Lions compete at the WSC Silver Meet Saturday at Proviso West.
On Oct. 4, the LTHS girls finished fifth (169 points) at Naperville North’s Twilight Invitational competed under the lights with several highly-rated teams.
Julianne Melby (17th, 18:33.40) earned a top-20 medal, followed by Shannon Cranny (35th, 19:02.10), Anna Bylsma (36th, 19:02.60), Lauren Bohringer (40th, 19:04.70), Kristina Findley (52nd, 19:20.80), Jenna Lally (55th, 19:22.70) and Madison Findley (56th, 19:22.90) in the top 60.
“I still ran pretty well but it wasn’t as fast as I expected. But the place was good so I’m happy about that,” Melby said. “I feel like Shannon is really good at helping me get out the first mile.”
Cranny made her season debut after training her way back from injury.
“I’ve been itching to race all season,” Cranny said. “I kind of went into the race with no expectations. I’m happy with how it went and hopefully I’ll just keep building on from here.”
The LTHS boys were 12th (315 points). The Lions’ top finishers were John O’Halloran (53rd, 16:04.90), Charles Ciesla (55th, 16:10.70), Brendan Whelton (59th, 16:16.80), Theo Sullivan (92nd, 16:43.60), John Barrette (93rd, 16:44.50), Isaac Constas (101st, 16:50.60) and Kole Beck-Jewusiak (103rd, 16:52.50).
LTHS boys soccer
The Lions (11-6-2, 2-3 in WSC Silver) lost 4-2 Thursday at Oak Park and River Forest (18-0-2), the area’s No. 1-rated team by ChicagolandSoccer.com, and 2-1 at Proviso West Oct. 3.