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Girls Tennis team makes history at state competition

On Saturday, October 21, 2023, the varsity girls tennis team placed 3rd overall at the IHSA Class 2A State Tournament held at Buffalo Grove High School.

Coach Brian Ostrander stated that “it has been over 30 years since a Southland team has placed that high.”

Doubles team Maia and Estela Loureiro helped Sandburg grab a trophy. The sisters represented the southside as they advanced to the state finals, winning their first five matches in straight sets. The Loureiros took 2nd in state after splitting sets with New Trier and having a close 4-6 third set. 

Photo courtesy of @SandburgTennis on Twitter

Playing tennis with family adds a different element to the game. When asked about the dynamic of the finals, Maia explains, “It was fun playing with Estela, but there were definitely obstacles to overcome. We had to learn how to become friends on the court and it’s still something we are working towards. We felt nervous in the finals with every point, but we felt more and more confident as the match went on.” 

The Eagles had a successful season overall. The team had a record of 18-1, only losing 3-4 in a duel against Lyons Township.

In early September, the Eagles competed in a 2-day overnight invitational in Edwardsville for the first time and made it to the semifinals after defeating the 2nd seed Missouri powerhouse St. Joe’s Academy.

The Eagles also placed first in several other invitationals amongst teams from different areas of Illinois throughout the season. This was all preparation for the most important team competition: SWSC Blue Conference Championship. The format of the conference is 3 singles and 4 doubles. Sandburg took first place in 5 of the 7 spots. They now are reigning conference champions for the past 7 years. 

Regardless of the victories and losses, what mattered most throughout the season were the relationships that were built. Through themed practices, bus rides, and pasta parties, the team became closer. Junior Grace Torgerson remarks, “I’ve enjoyed every moment of the season. I grew such a close connection to the girls on the team even though I did not know most of them while coming into season. One of the most memorable moments was cheering on the girls at sectionals. Everyone took off school just to support the team. I think cheering on the sidelines is the best way of team bonding.”

Captain Neela Browne has played for varsity and competed in state all four years of high school. This year at state felt particularly special to be a part of for her. Browne says, “It was cool to be a part of the team that’s done the best ever for Sandburg’s boys and girls team together. I also felt a sense of community as tons of people came to watch. All of the bleachers were full and that never really happens at a girls’ tennis match.” 

The team was able to take away from the season the importance of cherishing time with others as well as relishing in the fun of making team history.

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