The Lady Leafs' Mary Thomas and Emma Dunker finished third at the Class 1A Dunlap Sectional tournament and earned their first state berths.
The Lady Leafs’ Mary Thomas and Emma Dunker finished third at the Class 1A Dunlap Sectional tournament which concluded on Oct. 13.
Geneseo’s Thomas and Dunker earned their first state berths with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Galesburg to advance to the semifinal round.
After falling in the semifinal match, Geneseo’s Dunker and Thomas won the third-place match 7-6 (3), 6-3.
Geneseo Coach Kevin Reed believed he saw Thomas and Dunker start clicking at the right time.
“Either Emma or Mary would be doing one thing great, but they wouldn’t be doing it together,” Reed said. “I saw glimpses of it through the year, but at sectionals, they did it all at once. Even teams at sectionals were like, ‘Whoa what is this team doing?’”
The Lady Leafs finished fourth with Dunlap taking the team title.
Geneseo’s Alli Miller and Ava Bieneman finished a win away from state after winning a match.
Miller and Bieneman were defeated by Alleman’s Brooke McKeown and Lucy Rector 6-4, 6-0.
A sophomore, Geneseo’s Emma Claeys was the surprise of the tournament earning her first singles victories ever.
Claeys won her preliminary match 6-4, 6-3, and earned an upset win in the second round 6-1, 6-1.
Claeys was eliminated a win away from earning a state berth by the No. 2 seeded Taylor Disharoon from Dunlap, 6-0, 6-0.
Disharoon finished as the sectional runner-up falling to Alleman’s Lily Schoeck in the championship match 6-1, 6-1.
Geneseo’s Emily Henson finished her senior season with a win at sectionals winning her preliminary match 7-5, 6-1.
The Lady Leafs will open the Class 1A IHSA state tournament at Rolling Meadows High School on Thursday, Oct. 18.
Geneseo’s Thomas and Dunker will play the Marian Sectional champions Taylor Trojan and Lilli Hansen from Marian in the opening round.