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Badminton IHSA Sectionals 05.05.22

Four local teams hosting girls badminton sectionals on the same night, so let’s stop by all four, one by one to see who is heading to state next weekend!

Naperville North

Naperville North will send both doubles pairings to Hinsdale South as Rosana Liang and Connie Lu win the sectional championship over Claire Flanagan and Ellie Grant from Glenbard East.

Bibiane Kan and Kotryna Petreikyte from Naperville North also qualify for state, finishing in 4th place in doubles. Mia Llagan and Khushi Patel finish third for Glenbard East.

The host Huskies win the sectional championship just ahead of Glenbard East. Senior Amanda Ng takes the singles title, defeating…this girl, Shannon Xu in the title match, but both players are heading to state.

Metea Valley

Now we move over the Metea Valley where the Mustangs also hope to win their own sectional.

The doubles team of Anjana Viswanathan and Riya Alwala puts up a great showing, qualifying for state and making it to the doubles championship.

In singles, Vijayan andini Mandava punches her ticket to state for Metea, her teammate, Sri Lakshmi Battula looks to do the same. It’s a tough matchup against Maya Edrada from Romeoville. Buttula wins the first set 21-18. But Edrada takes the next two and finishes as the runner up in singles behind Rebecca Lopez Egan from Willowbrook. Battula does make it to state by finishing in fourth, falling to her teammate, Mandava in the third place match.

In doubles, Metea Valley’s top duo Vivian Kok and Sophia Wang appear ready for another deep post season run. The Mustangs take down opponents from Romeoville and Lockport. Then they defeat their own teammates, Vishwanathan and Alwala to win the doubles sectional crown. That helps Metea Valley win the 2022 sectional championship.

Naperville Central

Naperville Central is next as the Redhawks play host to a highly contested sectional clash.

We start with a Doubles match between Naperville Central and Downers Grove South. Hanna An and Michelle Hu of Naperville Central have high expectations as they look to return to state for a second straight season. The seniors cruise past Wheaton Warrenville South and Downers Grove South and into the sectional final, clinching another state trip.

The other Redhawks doubles team, Jessica Pei and Simi Kama face Grace Beacom and Lauren Dry from Downers Grove North. The Trojans looking to join their teammates, singles champion Gabrielle Chen and singles runner up Megan Heinz as state qualifiers. But Pei and Kama take the early advantage.

Eventually the Redhawks are able to advance to face An and Hu for the doubles championship, winning in the semis 21-11, 21-16 in straight sets. Annie Cash & Mary Kosowski from DGN are also state bound after finishing in third.

In the doubles sectional final, Pei and Kama give their teammates all they can handle with this point with a well placed smash.

When you have teammates who know each other so well going head to head, it’s no surprise to see such long rallies, by the end of this one, it’s Hanna An and Michelle Hu taking the point and eventually taking the doubles championship. Both pairs will be heading to state.

Sarah Parayno and Abby Crawford from Glenbard South are the other singles state qualifiers. Downers Grove North is the team champion with Naperville Central in second and Glenbard South in third.

Neuqua Valley

We wrap up this sectional marathon over at Neuqua Valley. The Waubonsie Valley doubles team of Ghantharini Kanaga saba pathi and Sairishika Pula looking to stay alive in the consolation side of the bracket against Ispa Bijumalla & Caitlyn Carmody from Oswego East. The Warriors keep it close, but the Wolves pull away to win in two sets, eventually qualifying for state by finishing third in doubles.

Now to the doubles semi finals. Jasmine Chan and Trisha Shukla from Oswego East taking on the top seed from Neuqua Valley, seniors Bhavi Barnwal and Nayoon Lee.

Lee and Barnwal have been playing badminton together for many years and it shows as the duo showcases the full skill-set throughout the sectional. The Wildcats roll to the doubles championship match.

Fellow Neuqua teammates Aaurshi Choudary and Cynthia Zhang have a similar level of success, securing wins over Waubonsie Valley and Plainfield South to earn a spot in the championship as well, despite the best efforts of Ilanna Lucheck and Jaden Inamine.

Let’s take a look at the singles semi finals as freshman Hannah George from Neuqua Valley faces Ivy He from Plainfield East. George competing in her first sectional, but you would not know it as the young Wildcat plays with poise and precision and earns a victory over He to make the singles final. He qualifies for state as well by finishing in 4th.

Another freshman faring well in the sectional is Carissa Chen from Waubonsie Valley. She takes on Wanhan Sun from Neuqua Valley in the other singles semi final.

Sun is just a sophomore, but a savvy player as well. A great cross court smash to earn this first set point.

But Chen is not rattled, despite some nice returns from Sun, the Warrior puts this point away and punches her ticket to state, advancing to the singles championship round. Sun will be going to state as well, eventually winning the third place match later in the night.

The doubles championship features Neuqua seniors, Barnwal and Lee against their junior teammates, Zhang and Choudary. The younger pair looks to pull the upset and take the championship for themselves.

But in the end, Barnwal and Lee are able to pull away for a 21-17, 21-16 win. The doubles sectional title goes to the blue and gold. Choudary and Zhang are still heading to state along with Oswego East and Carolyn Winiecki & Rhea Shah from Plainfield East.

The final match is the singles championship. Carissa Chen versus Hannah George in a battle of two promising freshman. Beautiful touch on this drop from from George as she takes the opening set 21-14.

But of course it was never going to be easy. Chen with a line drive that just skims over the net and glides to the floor, taking a nice point in the second set.

However Hannah George is able to pull away late in the set to win the singles sectional championship 21-14, 21-17 for Neuqua Valley badminton. The Wildcats send all four participants to state and earn the sectional crown over Plainfield East. Hinsdale South and the state championship tournament awaits next weekend!

For more prep sports highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!

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