The girls tennis team finished fourth in the state at last weekend's IHSA state tournament, hosted by Mt. Prospect High School.
Singles player Alexis Casati and the doubles team of Jorie Fox and Jenna Borzak both made it to the final day of competition before falling in the state quarterfinals. Mindy Borovsky also qualified for the state tournament but was eliminated in the second round.
"Some of the things we've been working on for the last two seasons have really come together these last two weeks," Deerfield Coach Rich Koukol said. "We just had a really good year and everybody has played very well."
The Warriors entered the season with the goal of finishing higher than they had a year ago. They were able to accomplish that goal after improving on their fifth place finish last season.
"We had three positions in state this year and didn't have our second doubles team here," Koukol said. "So the goal was a little bit tougher, but these girls have all stepped up."
Casati's Remarkable Streak Comes to an End
Casati had not lost a match or even a single set, all season long, before falling to Alex Solovyev (6-3, 5-7, 6-4) in the quarterfinals.
She lost the first set, then found herself down 5-2 in the second set and facing match point. Casati battled and found a way to come back and win five straight games to force a deciding third set.
Ultimately, Solovyev bounced back to take the third set, but Casati showed her determination and grit by winning two more matches in the consolation bracket to end up with a fifth place finish.
Fox and Borzak cruised into the semifinals but lost eventual state champions Marika Cusick and Caroline Lorenzini (6-0, 6-1) of Hinsdale Central, which also won the team state title.
Future Bright For Warriors
Casati, Borzak, and Fox are all juniors on a Deerfield team that does not have a single senior. Their experience at the state meet this year will definitely help with their success in the future.
"The teams that win definitely have something unique about them," Borzak said. "That team (Hinsdale Central) definitely came to net a lot more than other teams we've played. So I think we need to work on our net game a little bit more."
It will likely only motivate the girls even more next season.
"I think I'm more of a baseliner and Jenna's more of a net player," Fox said. "So next year we need to work on each others' opposites. I need to improve at the net and Jenna can get more confident with her ground strokes."
"Alexis' work ethic is second to none," Koukol said. "She works really hard and she's improved a lot. So she's going to be even better next year."
Deerfield (18) finished behind Stevenson (21), New Trier (28), and Hinsdale Central (39).