Hirsch, Venturelli fly to first place finish at New Trier Featherfest

Seniors Stephanie Venturelli (left) and Jessica Hirsch (right) pose with their prizes after capturing first place at the New Trier Featherfest April 18. The duo took down some of the top teams in the state in six matches en route to capturing the first doubles title.

By Mike Stanford
Executive News Editor
Following six matches against some of the top teams in the state like Fremd, Lyons Township and York, seniors Stephanie Venturelli and Jessica Hirsch soared past the competition at the 2015 New Trier Featherfest April 18.
The duo emerged from their four-team pool at to enter bracket play, before eventually taking down Fremd and then York to capture a first place victory at the first doubles position.
While they were happy with their finish on Saturday, Hirsch and Venturelli know they still face a long journey.
“It’s just one step [towards] our goal,” Venturelli said. “We want to do the best we can throughout the entire season which means winning as many tournaments and games as we can, so we are on the right track.”
Next week the pair will try to follow-up on their performance at the ABCD Badminton Tournament at Hinsdale South where they will again square off against top-tier competition.
According to Venturelli, a key to their game is their mindset.
“You can’t think too much about about this team that you’re playing, [and] if you’ve seen them before [and whether] they’re good or not,” Hirsch said. “In badminton, it could go either way [because] each game is really, really quick.”
Beyond next weekend, the team is looking forward to the MSL Conference Tournament May 1 followed the next weekend by sectionals, and then, if all goes according to plan, the IHSA state tournament.
The duo will hope to follow up on last year’s third place finish at second doubles at state, but Hirsch says they are not letting anything go to their head.
“You can’t get caught up in, ‘Oh, we’re so much better,’” Hirsch said. “That’s not necessarily the case. You could be playing a team that’s really good and have been playing a lot longer than you, but there’s still a chance of beating them if you try hard enough.”