May 16, 2016

Badminton's big bashers

This weekend was the 40th installment of the Illinois High School Association's state badminton championships. Ninety-six players, 32 singles and 64 doubles specialists, gathered in Charleston to battle for this year's state championship titles. Here's a look at some of the state's top high school players smashing, slicing and stabbing their way through tough matches vying for a coveted state title.

Rei Uemaki hits an overhead
Oak Park-River Forest's Rei Uemaki hits an overhead smash during her quarterfinal match against Hinsdale South's Judy Yang. Uemaki, who went on to finish in fifth place, fell 21-13 and 21-8 to the eventual state champion on Saturday. Visit iphotonews.com later this week for more photos and coverage from this year's state tournament.


Cindy Tang hits overhead smash
Hinsdale Central's Cindy Tang hits overhead smash in her match against Stevenson's Ashley Richardson during their consolation round match. Richardson defeated Tang after three games, 21-19, 17-21, 21-19.


Neuqua Valley's Eva Chen
Eva Chen hits a big smash during her doubles match against Hinsdale South's Jacque Cameli and Caroline Lee. Chen along with partner Sophia Li earned the victory in two games, 21-7, 21-9. The Neuqua Valley duo later went on to win this year's doubles title.


Red Devils' Angela Li
Hinsdale Central's Angela Li keeps the shuttlecock in play during her state semifinal doubles match against Hinsdale South's Jacque Cameli and Caroline Lee. Li and partner Lana Millman fell, 17-21, 21-13, 21-9.

Metea Valley's Moriah Gau
Metea Valley's Moriah Gau reaches out to keep the point going on a smash from Stevenson's Ashley Richardson during their consolation quarterfinal bout. Gau fell, 21-19, 21-17, to Richardson.


Julianna Rylko at state badminton
Wheaton Warrenville South's Julianna Rylko tosses here racquet after making an error during her quarterfinal match against Oak Park-River Forest's Rei Uemaki. Rylko fell 21-19, 21-13 to Uemaki.


Maya Trinka fell after three hard-fought games
Oak Park-River Forest's Maya Trinka attacks a short, drop shot from New Trier's Julia Matyjas during their quarterfinal meeting. Trinka fell after three hard-fought games, 21-16, 17-21, 21-18.


Naperville Central's Surya Nair
Naperville Central's Surya Nair prepares to hit a shot back over the net during her semifinal match against Neuqua Valley's Lauren Ho. Nair, who went on to place third at this year's tournament, fell after two games 21-15, 21-12.


Grace and Julia Monti eliminated
Julia Monti attacks a shot from Lockport Township's doubles pair for a put-away smash during their consolation bracket quarterfinal match. Monti and twin sister Grace were eliminated after a tough 21-16, 21-19 loss to Porters' duo Jessica Miller and Haley Egelhof.


Visit the PhotoNews later this week. See additional photo and recap from this year's state finals on Wednesday.

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