Before trying to carve out a strong postseason run in the upcoming Class 4A state playoffs, the Lyons Township girls volleyball team won the Maine West Pumpkin Tournament Saturday with five two-set victories.
The Lions (26-5) are the No. 3 seed in the 4A Hinsdale Central Sectional. They open Lyons Township Regional play against No. 14 Kenwood at 6 p.m. Oct. 24.
On Saturday, the Lions captured the championship by defeating Sandburg 26-24, 25-16 behind Grace Turner (9 kills, 3 blocks), Taylor Carroll (8 kills), Abby Markworth (21 assists, 4 digs), Kiley Mahoney (17 digs), Alita Folkening (3 kills, 3 blocks), Anabelle Montgomery (3 kills), Laine Violante (5 digs, 2 aces) and Maggie Kachmarik (3 digs).
LTHS beat the Eagles for the third time this season.
In bracket play, the Lions defeated Libertyville 25-16, 25-16 in the semifinals and Lake Zurich 25-20, 25-17 in the quarterfinals. In pool play, LTHS defeated Prospect 25-10, 25-8 and Carmel 25-17, 25-16.
The Lions missed out on tying for the West Suburban Silver title after losing at first-place and defending champion Glenbard West 25-23, 25-19 Oct. 10.
Turner (6 kills), Mahoney (9 digs, 6 service points), Markworth (15 assists, 6 digs), Folkening (6 blocks), Montgomery and Carroll (4 kills apiece) and Kachmarik (6 points) paced LTHS (3-2 in Silver).
The Lions held early leads of 15-9 in the first set and 12-9 in the second.
LTHS girls tennis
LTHS juniors Ginny Gibbs and Mia Graziano once again were one victory from qualifying for their first Class 2A girls tennis state meet Friday.
This time, the fifth-seeded doubles team had to play with Graziano battling a back injury since their previous match. They lost to Fenwick’s fourth-seeded Trinity Hardin and Megan Trifilio 6-2, 6-3 in the quarterfinals of the Hinsdale Central Sectional.
“I wasn’t able to perform as well as I could have against Fenwick. But I think we did pretty well,” Graziano said. “We were having a pretty good match against them with the challenges.”
Top-four sectional doubles and singles finishers advance to state. The Lions’ other doubles team of unseeded senior Maddie Rowen and junior Ashley Culin also reached the quarterfinals, losing to Hinsdale Central’s No. 2-seeded Lauren Panveno and Calista Chang 6-0, 6-2. Rowen also came one doubles victory from state in 2022 with graduated Molly Burke.
In singles, Abby Sullivan and Addy Pelling both lost to seeded players in the round of 16 after winning first-round matches in straight sets.
Bad weather forced the action indoors at various sites. Graziano said that led to much better tennis than the wind-affected battles in 2022.
Graziano and Gibbs took pride in their second-round 6-4, 7-6 (3) victory over Oak Park and River Forest’s Alice Caldwell and Sophie Welch. The first set was tied 4-4.
Graziano said the roughly four-hour break before the Fenwick improved her back issues.
“I think we played good tennis (against Fenwick),” Gibbs said. “Even if we weren’t able to get the results we wanted, we had some good points and we were communicating with each other. We were definitely moving around a lot.”
LTHS boys soccer
The Lions (14-6-2) are the No. 2 seed in the 3A Proviso East Sectional.
They opened LT Regional play Tuesday against No. 18 Proviso West, which beat the Lions 2-1 Oct. 3. The winner plays for the regional title at 1 p.m. Saturday against No. 7 Downers Grove North or No. 10 Downers Grove South.
Leading scorers this season include Haris Sarajlija (10 goals, 8 assists), Owen Suda (10 goals, assist), Declan Kracker (3 goals, 4 assists), Mason Burda (4 goals, 3 assists), Austen Wisniewski (2 goals, 6 assists), Ian Faris (4 goals, assist), Jimmy Brejcha (4 goals) and Chris Medina (3 goals, assist).
The Lions tied for third in the West Suburban Conference Silver at 3-3 with Hinsdale Central thanks to an impressive 4-3 home victory over York Oct. 10. They then beat Argo 2-1 Thursday and Maine West 5-0 in Friday’s homecoming matchup.