Badminton: Picture perfect day for Plainfield East’s Tatineni
By Logan Malloy For Sun-Times Media March 16, 2013 8:56PM
Romeoville No.1 singles Melanie Underwood in action against Plainfield East s Lakshmi Tatineni during the Joliet Central Badminton Invitational Saturday March, 16, 2013. | Ray Luna ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 18, 2013 7:13AM
It was a clean sweep in every aspect for Lakshmi Tatineni.
The Plainfield East senior won all seven of her matches at the Joliet Central Birds of Steel Tournament on Saturday to capture the No. 1 Singles crown for the third consecutive year.
Tatineni, considered one of the top players in the state, also won the JV tournament as a freshman.
“It was really nerve-racking this morning because I won it so many times,” Tatineni said. “But after the first game, I started getting back into it, calming down.”
Tatineni won all of her matches in two sets and topped Metea Valley’s Michelle Wang (6-1 on the day) 22-20, 21-19 in a back-and-forth unofficial championship match that coincidentally found itself as the pair’s last match of the day.
“She was really good, but I was kind of stubborn,” Tatineni said. “I just kept saying, ‘finish this, no third game’, because I’m exhausted.”
Metea Valley stopped Lincoln-Way West from capturing a fifth straight tournament title. The two programs tied for first with 30 points, but Metea Valley captured the crown by winning the head-to-head matches 3-2.
Joliet Central finished third with 20 points behind a title from No. 2 singles tandem Ryan Morgan and Kaitlyn Bertram, Joliet West placed fourth and Plainfield East placed fifth in the eight-team round robin tournament.
Leading the charge for West was the No. 1 doubles tandem of Lizzie Bradshaw and Emily Keith. The pair went 7-0 on the day for top honors.
“We had a good rotation and hit everything down at the net,” Keith said. “I think this predicts a good future. We played all good teams today.”
West’s sophomore duo of Stephanie McDonald and Megan Weygant took first at No. 3 doubles.