Naperville Central badminton picks up narrow team win over Naperville North

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Naperville Central badminton secures a close 9-6 win over crosstown rival Naperville North on Senior Night. This highlight is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.

Senior night at Naperville North as the badminton team welcomes crosstown rival from Naperville Central badminton. Despite a power outage delaying the start, both teams are ready to roll with the conference meet just two weeks away.

Redhawks looking strong in doubles matches

Naperville Central badminton with wins at four and five doubles already, and here we see the number three matchup with Aliesan Romero and Kailani Zheng from North against Redhawk  newcomers Giana Xiao and Megan Moreno.

The Huskies serving here, Zheng with an overhand but Moreno smashes the return down for a point.

Xiao now serving for Naperville Central. Romero with a return near the back line. Moreno lets it drop, but it lands inbounds for the point. The Huskies take the first set.

However, the Redhawks regroup to win set two and in the tiebreaking third set, Xiao playing up at the net finishes off this point with a strong smash. Central takes three, four and five doubles.

The Redhawks looking to keep the run going in two doubles with Amaya Liu and Daniella Aldeguer facing senior captain Shannon Xu and freshman Rakshita Ruparel playing for the Huskies.

After a serve from Liu, Aldeguer lofts one that skims over the top of the net for the Redhawk point.

The Huskies duo would prove to be too powerful in this matchup though, Ruparel serves and Xu unloads with a big overhand smash that splits the court. Naperville North wins two doubles in straight sets.

Naperville North gets wins in top two doubles matchups

A new combination for Naperville North at one doubles with Kotryna Petreikyte and Sav Subash. Naperville Central has Hannah An playing with new partner Jessica Pei this spring.

Hannah An serving in the near court before Pei goes high for a backhand that quickly gets over the net and finds the floor for the point.

North serving now, Petreikyte returns a shot from An near the back. Subash then earns the point with back to back overhand shots that power through the defense. The teams split the first two sets, forcing a set three.

Another back and forth point with all four players involved. Pei with good concentration to make a return on a shot that clips the net, but Kotryna smashes home the winning point a few moments later. The Huskies rebound with wins at both one and two doubles.

Huskies looking strong in the top singles matches

Kotryna Petreikyte is back to work in three singles against Daniella Aldeguer from Central. The Redhawks have already won singles matchups five through ten.

After a serve from the Huskie junior, Aldeguer with a fantastic drop shot that falls in for a point just over the net.

But Petreikyte says turnabout is fair play as she uses a beauty of a drop to help secure the two set win, 21-15, 21-15.

Over to number one singles where Jessica Pei has a tough challenge against Shannon Xu, who finished in fourth place at State a season ago.

An exciting point here in the opening set with the competitors darting around the court to make their returns. Eventually a low return from Pei forces her opponent into an error that finds the net.

But Shannon Xu has so much power in her game that she is able to turn most lob shots into overhand smashes that provide little chance for return. The Huskie senior with a straight set victory.

The final match of the night is two singles with Rakshita Ruparel stepping in for North against the veteran Hannah An from Naperville Central.

Some wild momentum swings in this one. Here we see the young Huskie deaden her return nicely as the birdie softly flutters to the floor for the point. First set goes to Ruparel.

An comes back in set two with some quick reaction returns. That leads to a quick strike smash for the point, forcing a third set after a 21-11 win.

Ruparel is able to regain control in the tiebreaking set. After a brief rally back and forth, a flick of the wrist on the backhand delivers a key point. Ruparel takes the third set as the Huskies sweep the top four singles matchups. However, Naperville Central takes the team victory 9-6.

For more prep sports highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!