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updated: 10/10/2013 3:04 PM

Scouting girls tennis conference meets / Lake County

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By Marty Maciaszek
Daily Herald Correspondent

North Suburban Conference

When and where: Friday at 2 p.m. at Vernon Hills Athletic Complex and Lake Forest; Saturday at 8:30 a.m., title, third- and fifth-place matches start at VHAC. First-round matches were played Thursday.

What to watch: Two of the state's top teams face off as defending state and NSC champion Lake Forest beat Stevenson a little more than a week ago 4-3 in a tough NSC Lake dual, while Stevenson won earlier this year when they me in an invitational. "There aren't a lot of other teams that get to play against another top team in the state in their own conference tournament," said Stevenson coach Tom Stanhope, whose team won the league title two years ago.

Both teams have the top two seeds at four of the five slots. Lake Forest got No. 1s from Elizabeth and Christina Zordani at Nos. 1 and 2 singles and doubles second seeds from Catherine Orfanos-Victoria Falk at No. 1, Margaux Miller-Colleen Morris at No. 2 and Brynn Carlson-Zoe Park at No. 3. Stevenson got top doubles seeds from Alexxis Kiven-Kendall Kirsch (19-1) at No. 1, Michelle Tulchinskaya-Kaylin Dong (19-0) at No. 2 and Bryn Rubin-Caroline Kelmis (16-1) at No. 3, a second seed from Zoe Manion (18-2) at No. 1 singles and a third seed from Vinaya Rao (17-4) at No. 2 singles.

"I know we're not looking too far ahead," Stanhope said. "Obviously we want to see Lake Forest and they want to see us, but in-between there are schools where you have to take care of business because there are a lot of good players."

Warren could have an impact on the team race with a second seed at No. 2 singles from Alex Mella (26-1) and third seeds from Karyna Bihel (22-4) at No. 1 singles and in doubles with Max Mella-Courtney Sunday (19-6) at No. 1, Lauren Vrabel-Mikayla Schultz (23-4) at No. 2 and Lindsey O'Brien-Julie Zysk at No. 3. NSC Prairie champion Vernon Hills is looking to break into the top four with its fourth-seeded doubles teams of Rachel Jacoby-Melissa Roshass at No. 1 and Prathushya Namburi-Shreya Kathuri at No. 3. Lake Zurich also got a pair of fourth seeds in Arianna Soheil at No. 2 singles and Sam Bendfeldt-Stephanie Johnson at No. 2 doubles.

Grant standout freshman Gaby Schoenberg (23-0) is the fourth seed in the rugged No. 1 singles field and opened with Libertyville junior and returning state qualifier Halle Roach. A pair of senior doubles teams in Antioch's Melissa Donovan and Sara Petty and Mundelein's Sara Jump and Kelly McCauley look to impact the No. 1 flight.

East Suburban Catholic Conference

When and where: Friday and Saturday, Marian Catholic High School, Chicago Heights

Outlook: Carmel enters the tournament just 2 points behind nine-time defending ESCC champion Benet after the Corsairs lost 3-2 in a dual Monday. First-year Carmel coach Chris Kannenberg believes some of those losses could be reversed this weekend. "I feel real positive and real confident because the Benet match was close and it's always competitive every year," Kannenberg said. "We'll spend the next couple of days training in a way we can turn the tide in the conference championship."

Seniors Michelle Kannenberg and Kathleen Felicelli (23-2-1) look to continue their stellar fourth season together at No. 1 doubles as the top seed. Megan Sullivan-Sarah Bowles got the top seed at No. 2 doubles and Ruthie Firnbach-Megan Healy are second seeded at No. 3 doubles. Maddy O'Donnell is the third seed at No. 2 singles, and along with Christina Rao at No. 1, hopes a rugged schedule has prepared them for success.

Fox Valley Conference

When and where: Friday and Saturday at Cary-Grove, Jacobs, Crystal Lake South, Crystal Lake Central and Prairie Ridge

Outlook: Grayslake Central and Grayslake North are looking to finish in the top half of the tourney as Crystal Lake South looks to defend its title with standout Julia Thome. Everyone from Grayslake Central is above or close to .500 in FVC matches and sophomores Nikki Tatsuguchi and Raquel Ruiz look to keep gaining valuable big-meet experience and Grayslake North junior Kaitlyn Christiansen took second at No. 2 singles at the Lakes Invite. Crystal Lake Central also has one of the state's top doubles teams in Jillian Wallace and Evelyn Youel.

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