Estela Loureiro (right) helps stretch her sister, Maia, before competing in the state meet, where they finished second in Class 2A. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Estela Loureiro (right) helps stretch her sister, Maia, before competing in the state meet, where they finished second in Class 2A. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Girls State Tennis | Sisters from Sandburg take 2nd in doubles; Marist’s Klooster finishes 6th

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By Jeff Vorva
Staff Writer

Orland Park is not known as a hotbed of tennis.

But at the 2023 IHSA girls tennis state tournament, three players from the village made a lot of noise.

The sister doubles team of Maia and Estela Loureiro finished second in the Class 2A state finals, held Oct. 19-21 at various sites in the northwest suburbs and wrapped up at Buffalo Grove High School. As a result of that school-record high finish, the Eagles tied for third with Deerfield in the team standings to bring home their first tennis trophy.

Marist freshman Helena Klooster, an Orland Park resident, finished sixth in singles to help the RedHawks tie for 19th.

Maia Loureiro, a senior, and Estela, a freshman, won their first five matches in straight sets, including a 6-0, 6-1 semifinal victory over Naperville North’s Brooke Coffman and Gabby Lee.

Things got off to a good start for Sandburg in the championship match when the sisters opened things up with a 6-4 victory over New Trier’s Keri Rothenberg-Ariane Lesterhuis. But the Trevians rallied and recovered and took the final two sets, 6-4, 6-4.

It was a huge accomplishment for the siblings as they lived out their dream of competing together as teammates.

They bring an interesting combination to the table.

“Estela brings a fieriness,” Maia said. “She’s really competitive out there. We’re always letting each other know what we’re doing wrong. One never fails to criticize the other. She brings out the energy and I bring out a little bit of calmness for her.”

“She is pretty calm, and she is pretty smart on the court, which is pretty helpful if I get stuck in a situation,” Estella said of Maia.

Maia, who skipped her high school season last year to play in national tournaments, will be heading to Northwestern next season.

“I love the atmosphere and I love the coaches,” she said of the Evanston school. “The coaches are awesome. I’m so grateful for the opportunities they have given me. And I really love the team. They feel like a team, and they care about each other. They are always there for each other.”

Estela figures to play singles in future years but is not sure if her family will be moving to Texas or staying in Illinois.

Like the Loureiro sisters, Klooster is a fixture at national tournaments. She won her first three state matches before having a tough time in the quarterfinals with a 6-1, 6-1 loss to Glenbard West’s Mira Kernagis, who finished third.

HELENA scaled

Marist’s Helena Klooster returns a shot in the opening round of the IHSA state tournament. The freshman finished sixth in the state. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Klooster recovered from that setback and beat Fenwick’s Lily Brecknock, 8-3, in an abbreviated format and Fremd’s Alina Shyani, 6-2, 7-6 (3), to reach the fifth-place match. She fell there, 6-4, 3-6 (10-8), to Lake Forest’s Isabelle Chong.

Also for Sandburg, the doubles team of Neela Browne and Alexa Petcu had a nice run. After dropping their first match, they won three straight in the consolation round before being eliminated in the fourth consolation round.

Laila Browne went 1-2 in singles for the Eagles.

Stagg’s Vicky Lipinski, making her third state appearance, finished 1-2 but the victory was an impressive 6-0, 6-0 triumph in the consolation round.

Marist’s Elsie Koch dropped her first two matches.

Mother McAuley’s Mary Kate Halleran and Nora Wolfe-Halpern went 0-2.

Richards’ Mia Montes and Violet McIntyre dropped their first two matches.

In Class 1A, Nazareth’s Layden Almer and Audrey Moster had a deep run with a 4-2 mark, reaching the consolation quarterfinals before they were eliminated.

Roadrunners’ singles player Elaine McNamara finished 1-2.

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