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LT sophomore Lin rises from obscurity to capture state title

CHARLESTON – A year ago, Stephanie Lin was a freshman that went 2-2 at the state tournament.

Now, the Lyons Township sophomore is a state champion and the first in LT history.

Lin was seeded outside the top four and didn't win conference, but stepped up on the big stage at Eastern Illinois University.

She won her first three rounds in straight sets to set up a match with top-seed and undefeated Ailynna Chen of Hinsdale Central. Chen beat Lin twice in the regular season.

Lin brushed Chen aside with a 21-17, 21-11 victory in the quarterfinals. Another straight set win over Thornton Fractional South's Jessica Gomez in the semifinals (21-17, 23-21) sent Lin to the state final.

There, she fell behind Hinsdale South's Emma Adcock by losing the first set 21-16. Lin bounced back to take the last two sets 21-16 and 21-17.

Junior Elizabeth Abbs and the doubles team of junior Emma Thimmig and senior Jaime Duncan both went 3-2 at the state tournament. Both Abbs and the doubles team lost in the first round, but scored team points with three consolation wins each.

The Lions finished sixth in the team standings.

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