CHARLESTON | Three of the T.F. South badminton teams went undefeated Friday in the first day's action at the IHSA State badminton tournament at Eastern Illinois University.
Andriana Johnson also won her first match, but fell into the consolation bracket where she won twice more but ultimately fell 21-16, 22-2 to Downers Grove North's Amanda Schneeweis.
And Homewood-Flossmoor's Cory Galen lost her first match but held strong, winning twice more before being beaten 21-19, 21-14 by Geneva's Ann Green.
T.F. South is currently in first place in the tournament with 11 points, 1 1/2 points ahead of second-place Fremd High (9 1/2 points).
But the score does not sum up the story of T.F. South’s dominant march through the tournament.
“Just do it one more time guys, that’s all you have to do,” T.F. South coach Bob Tengstrand kept telling his players. “Just do it one more time.”
"One more time" is the motto that has been pushing the T.F. South players through their matches. It is the calling card that the players keep in mind, and which they talk about together.
“That’s what he (Tengstrand) told us before we all played our first matches, ‘one more time.’” Jhennie Corpuz said.
She said it was his saying lately, to just play it one game at a time. And Corpuz did play it one game at a time, along with doubles partner Cassie Breschock, as they won three games on the day.
The Rebels' other doubles team of Shannon Pollard and Jenna Pasko also played to Tengstrand’s style, winning three matches as well.
The Rebels' Jessica Gomez also won all three of her matches, slicing through her opponents, advancing to the championship quarterfinals through a hard-fought duel, beating Fremd's Kelly Owens, 22-20, 22-20.
All the while Tengstrand knew that his team had it in them.
“He said we would have done it anyways,” Gomez said. “He basically just said ‘one game at a time.’”
Andriana Johnson won her first match, but lost a hard-fought 21-13, 21-15 decision to Fremd's Angela Wu.
“It was a loss, but it was a good loss,” Tengstrand said of the matchup. "She fought hard against a No. 2-ranked opponent, and held her own during the matchup which made her coaches and teammates proud."
But with the one game at a time mentality, she was able to earn two more wins before falling in the third round of the consolation bracket.
And with three teams in the championship quarterfinals of the tournament, the Rebels only have a few more "one game’s" ahead of them if they want to win a state championship.