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updated: 8/30/2012 5:11 PM

Girls tennis/Fox Valley preview

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  • Bartlett junior Jen Gates will be seeking her third straight state tournament berth this season.

      Bartlett junior Jen Gates will be seeking her third straight state tournament berth this season.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer


Bartlett Hawks

Coach: Sue Hannula

Conference: Upstate Eight

2011 dual meet record: 6-1 in UEC

Top returning players: Jen Gates (Jr., No. 1 singles), Alicja Ligas (Sr., No. 2 singles), Jitsupa Sirinit (Sr., No. 1 doubles) and Gabby Gregorio (Sr., No. 1 doubles).

Top newcomers: Jixi Lederer (Fr., No. 3 singles), Bianca Dizon (Fr., No. 2 doubles), Kiera Thielen (So., No. 2 doubles), Rachel Fenn (So., No. 3 doubles), Mariam Haider (Jr, No. 3 doubles), Nicole Stockton (Sr., No. 4 doubles), Melissa Reuter (Sr.).

Season outlook: "Last year we had probably the most fantastic year ever in the history of BHS girls tennis," said Hawks coach Sue Hannula. "We went 6-1 in the tough Valley Division. Our only loss was to Neuqua Valley 5-2. Last year was the year we almost could have beaten them. We had 2 other matches besides the 2 wins that went into an exciting third sets. If we could have pulled them out we would have won the match 4-3. Unfortunately we graduated 6 of our 11 players and we had mighty big holes to fill." Bartlett also won the 8 team Jacobs tournament, the Rockford Auburn, and the Cary-Grove Quad as well as the St. Charles North sectional. Gates will be after her third straight state trip. She finished Top 16 as a freshman and had a shortened stay last year at state when the back draw was canceled by rain. Gates isn't all the Hawks will boast, though, as Gregorio is also a returning state qualifier. "If Gabby makes it to state with Jitsupa it will make 3 years in a row and with three different players," Hannula said. Sirinit has state experience from playing singles and went her freshman and sophomore years, narrowly missing last year by one match. "These are hard working girls and we have come a long way already," Hannula said. "We're looking forward to being a very competitive team again. Hardest part is for the newcomers who are not used to the hard pace that varsity players put on the ball. I am extremely proud of last year's team and I remain very close to them but I enjoy the challenge of getting this team to reach their full potential."

Cary-Grove Trojans

Coach: Amanda Schuetzle (1st year)

Conference: FVC Valley

2011 dual meet record: 19-7 (4-2 FVC Valley)

Top returning players: Macy Koepke (Jr.), Alyssa Derer (Jr.)

Top newcomers: Rita O'Connell (Sr.), Victoria Pierce (Sr.), Christine Sweinberg (Sr.)

Season outlook: C-G lost 15 seniors to graduation and all consistent starting players except for Koepke and Derer. "Right now we are working different combinations to find the right lineup," said first-year coach Amanda Schuetzle, who took over for longtime legend Bud Lachel. "It's definitely a rebuilding year for us; we have a young team and our main focus is continued improvement and trying to be as competitive as we can within our conference. We have a great group of girls that have already shown their strong work ethic, determination and their willingness to work together as a team."

CL South Gators

Coach: Don Nead

Conference: FVC Valley

2011 dual meet record: 16-1 (1st FVC Valley Division, 1st FVC Tournament)

Top returning players: Marisa Thome (Sr., singles, state qualifier, Rachel Siemon (Sr., doubles state qualifier), Kelsey Laktash (Jr. doubles state qualifier), Julia Thome (Jr.), Jacqueline Boorom (Jr.), Rachel Rasmussen (Jr.), Becca Kolarczyk (Sr.), Caitlin Theros (Sr.)

Top newcomers: Alaina Littlejohn (Sr.), Addison Morgan (Sr.), Hannah Goschey (Sr.), Kylee Fetzner (Jr.), Kaitlyn Bookout (So.)

Season outlook: With Marisa Thome, Siemon and Laktash leading the way, the Gators should threaten to win the FVC title again. "The team is solid throughout and should be competitive in the Fox Valley," said coach Don Nead.

Dundee-Crown Chargers

Coach: Yvette Pratt

Conference: FVC Valley

2011 highlight: Placed 4th in the Saxon Invite

Top returning players: Cassandra McElroy (Sr., No. 1 singles). Ali Danhoff (Sr., No. 1 doubles), Tori Scanlon (Sr., No. 1 doubles).

Top newcomers: Juniors Katelyn Aschacher, Alexandria Hawkey, Morganne Schmidt, and Felicia Zaporowski.

Season outlook: New coach Yvette Pratt hopes to see improvement as the season goes on for the Chargers. "The girls have a wonderful camaraderie and we're looking forward to a positive year," she said. "In the short season we've had so far we've already beaten a team we previously lost to and placed higher in our first Saturday tournament."

Hampshire Whip-Purs

Coaches: Aaron Holmer and Nicole Bechtold

Conference: FVC Fox

2011 dual meet record: 6-16 (2-10 FVC Fox)

Top returning players: Singles: Sophomores Julie Schreiner, Amanda Schultz; Doubles: Monica Patthana (Jr.), Angela Wozniak (Sr.), Sydney Zilch (Sr.), Hannah Ihssen (Sr.)

Top newcomers: Singles: Hannah Hougland (Fr.); Doubles: Katelyn Schoedl (So.), Abby Eischen (So.), Stacey Hamman (So.), Madison Zilch (So.)

Season outlook: Hampshire will have some depth this season up and down the lineup. "We are very happy with the mix of returning players and newcomers to our varsity team." said Whips' coach Aaron Holmer. "Overall, we have a very young team. Our team will be very competitive with the other teams on our side of the conference. By the end of the season, we are confident that several players will play well at sectionals and have a chance to be state qualifiers."

Huntley Red Raiders

Coach: Barry Wells

Conference: FVC Valley

2011 highlight: Finished second at Elgin sectional

Top returning players: Kayla Garcia (Sr., won Elgin singles sectional last season), Jessica Chalas (Jr., finished 4th at Elgin singles sectional), Brooke Romero (Jr., qualified for state in doubles), Kelly Frankel (Sr., qualified for state in doubles), Ally Pietrusiak (Jr.), Kattie Gallegos (Jr.)

Top newcomers: Jantzen Rosales (Jr), Tamara Funke (Jr.)

Season outlook: Coming off a banner season that included second place at the Elgin sectional and the sectional singles champion in Kayla Garcia, the Red Raiders are ready for a repeat and more. "I think that we will have a strong year," said coach Barry Wells. "We have a solid singles and doubles lineup with good depth. I hope to challenge for the sectional title and qualify both singles players and both doubles teams for the state tournament."

Jacobs Golden Eagles

Coach: Jon Betts

2011 record: 35-2 (Elgin sectional champions, Fox Valley Conference runner-up, champions Jacobs Quad, Huntley Quad, Hampshire Quad, Moline United Township Invite, Elk Grove Invitational, Rockford Jefferson Invitational.

Top returning players: Seniors Megan Elliott and Alina Zabolotico (both qualified for state in singles last season), Jacquelyn Hengler, Emily Alessio; Junior Rachael Buttolph.

Top newcomers: Seniors Jen Regard, Miranda Curtis; Juniors Emma Nickoley, Dena Kontos, Emily Halvorson; Freshman Ashley Kosy.

Season outlook: After graduating away a senior class that included four conference champions, three sectional champions, four state qualifiers, and one all-state doubles teams, it's hard not to call this a rebuilding year for the Golden Eagles. "However, with strong leadership from our upperclassmen and the enthusiastic contributions of our incoming players, we feel that we're poised to really challenge some of the area's top teams again this season," said 8th-year coach Jon Betts.

Larkin Royals

Coach: Kevin Schillerstrom

Conference: Upstate Eight

2011 dual meet record: N/A

Top returning player: Merly Hansana (Jr.)

Season outlook: New coach Kevin Schillerstrom takes over the Royals' program and does so with an inexperienced group. "We just want to have fun and win some conference meets," he said.

St. Edward Green Wave

Coach: Meghan Baley

Conference: Suburban Christian

Top returning players: Seniors Kailey Durkin, Mia Sidlin, Jasleen Lopez, Astrod Morales; Junior Monica Ramirez; Sophomores Brianne Lagtapon, Giscela Carrillo, Shaniell Nicolas.

Season outlook: The Green Wave's top returning player is Durkin at No. 1 singles. She went 4-4 last year and hopes to hold her own in the tough Suburban Christian Conference this season. "Our goal for this season is for everyone to improve and to win at least one conference meet," said coach Meghan Baley.

Streamwood Sabres

Coaches: Connie Kott and Daniela Necs

Conference: Upstate Eight

2011 record: N/A

Top returning player: Senior Becky Schwartz

Top newcomer: Freshman Megha Patel

Season outlook: The Sabres are looking for good things from Schwartz at No. 1 singles and Patel at No. 3 doubles. "We are looking forward to a good season," said coach Connie Kott, who with Necs recently took over the team. "The girls are committed to working hard and Ms. Necs, the new coach, is excited to be part of the program. She has a lot of new ideas for the team and is eager to work with the girls."

South Elgin Storm

Coach: Melissa Tuftedal

2011 highlight: Beth Weaver, 1st place at Glenbard North Invite

Top returning player: Beth Weaver (Jr., 1st singles); Jessica Keller (Sr., 2nd singles); Tessa Eggebrecht (Sr.)/Fiona McCullough (So.., 1st doubles); Kate Fox (Sr.)/Abbey Garnett (Sr., 2nd doubles); Amy Ballance (Sr.)/Nikha Phengsavath (Sr., 3rd doubles).

Top newcomers: Corinne Hildebrandt (Fr., 3rd singles), Madison Essex (Jr.)/Amanda Giannini (Sr., 4th doubles)

Season outlook: The Storm has plenty of experience to challenge for wins on the court this season. "We have a lot of returning players that have been on varsity the past two to three years," coach Melissa Tuftedal said. "Our team has a solid lineup. We are going to be tough at every position. Last Saturday we took home the first place plaque at the Hampshire quad. I'm looking forward to a lot of wins and having our girls qualify for state."

Note: No information was available from Elgin High School for this preview.

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