You could feel the ferocity from Huntley’s first singles player Kayla Garcia after her first match on Monday morning.
Garcia, who came into the Spirit of the Northwest tournament as the number two seed for first singles, was upset with her 6-2, 6-4 win over Johnsburg in her semifinal. She thought she needed to play better before she took on her tough competition in the finals: Rockford Lutheran’s star freshman Carly Kasicki. But after Garcia took the court in her finals match, she soon breathed easy.
“I beat her based on sheer experience,” said Garcia, who blew through Kasicki in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0. “I could tell she was frustrated on the inside.”
Huntley’s intensity mimicked Garcia’s as Huntley won all of its matches and took home the Spirit of the Northwest trophy. The Raiders’ doubles teams were equally as commanding as all of them chalked up victories in straight sets. At first doubles, juniors Brooke Romero and Allyson Pietrusiak steamrolled Grant and Wauconda by scores of 6-0, 6-1 and 6-3, 6-1, respectively.
Second and third doubles did the game, cruising past their first matches to both beat Johnsburg in straight sets. Johnsonburg almost had some good fortune at second singles against Jessica Chalas, but the consistent junior smothered a late rally to win 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.
The Red Raiders, whose tournament victory was a confidence-boost after taking fifth at conference, now look forward to sectionals, which take place this Friday and Saturday.