MACHESNEY PARK, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — After an initial weather delay, the Machesney Park Sectional at Harlem High School concluded with the Auburn Knights securing first place.
The doubles championship included Auburn’s sophomore Amy Park and senior Paris Thompson, facing Hononegah’s sophomore Kassidy Anderson and Bridget Schindler. Thompson and Park took first place in the NIC-10 conference just last week, and finished it the same way today. The Knights’ duo topped the Indians duo 6-3, 6-0.
The singles championship featured a rematch of the NIC-10 singles title as well with Auburn’s Belen Nevenhoven and Guilford’s Kasey Aucutt. Nevenhoven has always been a force to be reckoned with and continued that again easily winning 6-0, 6-0.
With the IHSA’s decision to not hold state tournaments for fall athletics, Sectionals is as far as these players would go.
Walking off the court for her final match as a high school athlete and member of the Auburn Knights’ Girls Tennis team, Nevenhoven held back tears as her head coach, Tracy Palmer, congratulated her on a triumphant career.
“It’s over which is kind of sad because it’s been such a a big part of the four years of my life,” she said. “But even though people are like, ‘high school tennis doesn’t mean anything, why are you playing?’ I think it’s just the memories and everything I get to do with it, and all the people I get to meet.”
Nevenhoven added that she is disappointed there is no state tournament, but also made a point to include her appreciation that her and her teammates were able to participate in a season at all.
1. Rockford – (Auburn) – 26
2. Rockford – (Guilford) – 10
2. Rockton – (Hononegah) – 10
4. Belvidere – (North) – 6
5. DeKalb – 4
5. Rockford – (East) – 4
7. Machesney Park – (Harlem) – 2
8. Rockford – (Jefferson) -0