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Sonia Sood and Samantha Mulica captured singles crowns and helped power the Evanston girls badminton team to its best finish in several years at the Central Suburban League tournament held at New Trier.

The Wildkits earned an overall 3rd place team finish — combining dual meet results and the CSL tourney performances — with 12 points, behind only New Trier (16) and Deerfield (14) among the 9 conference teams that compete in badminton.

At the tournament, Evanston piled up 53 points in a meet format that featured competition at 12 singles positions and 6 doubles slots. New Trier dominated with 72, followed by Deerfield with 55.5. Also adding to the Wildkit point totals were runnerup finishes by Isabel Avery at No. 8 singles and the No. 3 doubles team of Keegan Joyce and Clara Gruger.

“I thought we played pretty well overall,” said ETHS head coach Karilyn Joyce. “I didn’t think we played that well during the dual part of the schedule, but we played better here in the tournament the past two days. This is a young and very athletic team this year, and it’s been a fun group to work with.”

At No. 10 singles, Sood lived up to her No. 1 seed for ETHS and concluded an unbeaten conference season by trimming Deerfield’s Chloe Bryniarski 21-17, 21-13 in the title match. Sood advanced to the finals with wins over Elisa Kim of Glenbrook South (21-11, 21-10) and Grace Mabie of New Trier (21-12, 21-16).

Mulica claimed top honors at No. 12 singles, with a pair of three-set victories, one of them coming in the finals. Mulica split the first two sets against Elizabeth Woodburn of New Trier — losing 21-9 and winning 21-15 — before completing the comeback with a 21-15 triumph in the third set.

Mulica also scored wins over Catie Weinman of GBS (21-14, 14-21, 21-7) and Kristyn Tarpey of Maine South (22-20, 21-12).

At No. 8 singles, Avery ousted Zeba Chaus of Maine East (21-8, 21-12) and top-seeded Jordyn Cohen of Deerfield (24-22, 21-11) before falling 21-4, 21-16 to New Trier’s Molly Fischer in the championship match.

Evanston’s top two singles entries, Joyce and Gruger, fared better in doubles in a tuneup for next week’s Illinois High School Association sectional tournament. They teamed up to knock off the No. 1 seed at No. 3 doubles, the Deerfield team of Nicki Flynn and Gerri Soren, in the semifinals (15-21, 21-19, 22-20) and dropped a 21-17, 21-15 decision to Maine West’s Jochellie DeLeon and Andrea Maldonado to take second place.

Earning third place finishes for ETHS were Rebecca Conover at No. 6 singles, Sarah Felvey and Tess Brieva at No. 1 doubles, and Snood and Mulica at No. 5 doubles.

Fourths went to Gruger at No. 4 singles, Brieva at No. 5 singles, Liz Jolie at No. 11 singles, Conover/Emily Stover at No. 2 doubles, and Jolie/Betsy Meenan at No. 6 doubles.

Source: ETHS Sports Information

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