Lake Forest freshman Kiley Rabjohns humbly ventured out to Buffalo Grove High School last Thursday, the site of the IHSA Girls Tennis State Finals tournament, just looking to do her best and have fun. Despite an undefeated regular season in a gruelingly competitive schedule for Lake Forest, the freshman–as modest as they come–had reasonable expectations.
Heading in to the late afternoon on Friday night, however, Rabjohns found herself in unfamiliar, rarified territory for any high school tennis player. The freshman had cruised past Hallie Leblebijian of Chicago (Lane) (6-0, 6-0) in her opening round match, only to power past Meera Baird of Metea Valley (6-2, 6-2) in the round of 32. When she reached the Sweet 16 in a tournament that featured the state’s best talent, the rest of the state took notice of the Lake Forest wunderkind, silently powering her way deep in to the bracket.
On Friday, Rabjohns would again make quick work of her opponent, this time Marta Mikos of Hinsdale South (6-1, 6-0). This plotted Rabjohns against Deerfield’s Emily Casati, one of the state’s best players. Despite battling valiantly, Rabjohns lost to Casati in two sets (6-2, 6-3), but gave the junior ranked 4th in the state of Illinois by Babolat, a run for her money.
Rabjohns would respond from her first loss of the season with three straight victories over Olivia Oosterban of Hinsdale Central, Zoe Taylor of NSC rival Stevenson, and Samantha Choi of Wheaton Warrenville South to earn the 5th place Consolation Championship. Rabjohns battled hard for her last win, ousting Choi in a three-set classic (4-6, 6-2, 6-4).
Kolie Allen of Glenbard East was the singles tournament’s eventual champion, outlasting Evanston’s Anastasia Goncharova in the final. Casati finished 3rd overall for Deerfield while Niles West’s Michelle Bacalla earned 4th. Whitney Young won the IHSA State Championship, while Stevenson and Hinsdale Central took 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Look for Kiley Rabjohns and the young Scouts core to rebound next year and compete for both individual and collective IHSA titles. The Scouts last won the team title in 2014, which was their 12th trophy overall in the program’s history. They also finished first in ’13, ’11, ’02, and ’03.