Badminton smashes expectations, sends three girls to State

The badminton team sent three seniors to state this spring: Catherine Hanson in singles and Ella Berkowitz and Lula Garfield as a doubles team. The athletes won two matches apiece before elimination on May 13th, the second day of competition.

Hanson began the tournament with a 21-4, 21-2 loss to Clarissa Chen of Aurora (Waubonsie Valley), bouncing back to squeeze narrow victories against Alisa Hilaly of Hoffman Estates (22-20, 24-22) and Avaniajoy Rava of Carol Stream (21-12, 24-22).

A third-round consolation match loss to Maya Edrada of Romeoville (21-11, 21-15) rounded out Hanson’s performance. She finished her season with an overall record of 20-12.

Berkowitz and Garfield won their first round against Grace Sternes and Sara Krueger of Tinley Park (21-18, 21-13), followed with a loss to Vivian Kok and Sophia Wang of Metea Valley (21-9, 21-4). They rebounded by eliminating Amelia Gesicki and Emma Rattana of Willowbrook in second round consolations (21-10, 21-18), only to fall in the third round to Angela Liang and Bethany Liang of Buffalo Grove (21-19, 21-7).

At the state sectional held in Buffalo Grove on May 5th, both Hanson and the Berkowitz-Garfield double act placed third in their respective categories to qualify for IHSA states. 

The trio of seniors not only played a key role in the Kits’ success, but were huge role models for some of the underclassmen and newer members on varsity.

“It was so great to be on varsity for the first time and work with the best players in the school. I really feel like I improved just watching and learning from them,” shares incoming senior Alicia Frajman.

“ETHS badminton is so special because we have fantastic coaches that really know what they’re doing and an amazing support system that comes from teammates and friends. I really love my team, and I am so excited for my last season of ETHS badminton.”