Girls tennis: Prospect, Barrington on MSL collision course
The Prospect girls tennis team is making some noise this fall.
The Knights were 8-0 in duals to start the week, which included a recent 4-3 Mid-Suburban League crossover win against a strong Conant team, coach Mike McColaugh said.
Prospect's doubles lineup was 28-4 overall in those eight matches.
Another major boost has come from the addition of freshman No. 1 singles player Kara Pescaru. "Kara has made an immediate impact with big wins against highly ranked players from St. Viator and Rolling Meadows," the coach noted. "Kara has embraced the challenge of playing at the top of the lineup and the difficult schedule we play, especially on the weekends."
McColaugh noted the No. 1 doubles team of Natalie Katsaros and Katherine Doyle have shown signs they are ready to contend for a conference title, "and hopefully more in the postseason," he said.
The Fillies, with 12 seniors on the roster, were 6-1 in their first seven duals and had not lost an MSL contest as of earlier this week. No. 2 singles player Caitlin Kavanagh scored a big win against New Trier in the Deerfield tournament recently, while the No. 2 doubles team of Abby Carl and Olivia Paik also were notable at Deerfield with a 6-1, 7-6 (5) win over Lake Forest.
Coach Heather Graham also cited Priya Shah for her strong play. Shah was elevated to No. 1 doubles with Amani Alvi the past two weeks. "Priya runs after every ball and uses her skill of being a lefty to an advantage," Graham said. "She has made improvements in her doubles game. She was No. 3 doubles last year and has taken the courts by storm this year."
Senior No. 1 singles player Jacqueline Aguero has been with the Wildcats' program since her freshman year. Aguero recently competed in the team's first tournament of the season in Grayslake where she earned a 6-1, 6-3 win over Round Lake.
"I lost my first match and was disappointed, but coach C (Wheeling coach Sandrine Chomereau-Lamotte) came in to help me keep my head up. As I went to play my second match, I played a lot better and had a better attitude. I won my second match. As we keep moving forward in the season, I am always looking for more improvement. As a team, we are all pushing through and are happy to be back on the courts playing tennis."
Elk Grove update:
Senior Peyton Oda (15-3 record) recently won the Addison Trail quad and the Glenbard East Rams invitational at No. 1 singles, while freshman Sofia Libiano has posted a 12-6 record at No. 2 singles, which includes a runner-up showing at Addison Trail. "Sofia has shown grit and determination this season playing some long matches in hot weather and coming out victorious," Grens coach Lindsey Rapinchuk said. "She is a wonderful addition to our varsity tennis program and I am excited to see where the rest of the season takes her."
The Pirates finished second recently at the Vernon Hills Cougar invite. Palatine's top two singles players Jeannie Bitan and Katy Christopher were turned into a doubles team due to the weather and placed third. The No. 1 doubles team of Ishika Mishra and Ria Iyer took second, while the No. 2 doubles team of Nicole Canfield and Brookelyn Velmont took second as well.
Hoffman Estates update:
Ivana Stefanova recently won two of her three matches at the Crystal Lake quad and won two of three playing doubles with Holika Nanna at the Lakes invite. "Ivana has some big matches coming up with Fremd, Schaumburg and Barrington," coach Ken Harris said. "I am looking forward to seeing her growth and if she can continue to close the gaps some more."
St. Viator update:
Coach Mary Louise Blaney noted the Lions took the top courts in recent matches against St. Francis and Hersey and scored a key win over Maine East.
No. 1 singles player Maia Nowicki (10-4), the No. 1 doubles team of Ally Jodoin and Meredith Garcia (11-4) and the No. 2 doubles team of Eilza Perry and Megan Anderson (9-3) "continue to reach for the stars," Blaney said.
Perry is 12-3 in doubles action. "Eliza has been a player on fire," Blaney said. "She recently was paired with Megan and continues to roll."
Nowicki and the Jodoin-Garcia and Perry-Anderson pairings were winners earlier in the week against Lake Park.
Maine South update:
Maine South finished in the Top 10 in the more-than 40-team Edwardsville invitational and took second at Buffalo Grove.
Amelia Stanek (No. 1 singles) and Eva Zaskowski (No. 2 singles) won at Buffalo Grove, while Mina Radosavlijevic and Mia Lee continue to excel in singles and doubles with big wins at Edwardsville and York. Zaskowski is 11-5 at first and second singles, while sophomore Amelia Stanek is 8-5 at the top two singles positions. Radosavlijevic is 8-5 between first singles and doubles. Radosavlijevic, Lee, Zaskowski and Stanek have been rotating between No. 1 singles and doubles coach Jerry Smith noted. "All four are playing great and have been growing as players each week by being tested by some of the top players in the state," he added.
Rolling Meadows update:
The Mustangs took fourth at Ottawa and second at Huntley. Alissa Erokhina (No. 1 singles) and Amy Orzechowski (No. 2 singles) were consolation champions at Ottawa, while Megan Buchek and Mohini Maletira took second at No. 1 doubles. Alexandra Kovalevich won the No. 2 singles title at Huntley, while Angelina Peric and Vasi Grammatis were second at No. 2 doubles there. Grammatis and Vicky Coneva were second at No. 3 doubles.
Monica Guzman has been a big bright spot for coach Joe Hamilton's Leyden squad. "Monica is our top doubles player," he said. "She has a nice serve and is a strong player at the net."
Diana Hurska has been a consistent presence in the singles division. "Diana is consistently getting her serve in along with battling with her opponent to score the next point," said Hamilton, who noted Leyden has 58 players in the program, which may be the largest turnout ever.
"The majority of our girls' first experience in touching a tennis racket is when they come to us freshman year," he added. "Our goal is to make them competitive players by the time they are juniors and seniors and to have them fall in love with a lifetime sport."